WYDOT reveals construction schedule

Wyoming Department of Transportation informs CCCOG of upcoming projects

The Carbon County Council of Governments (CCCOG) met at 6:30 p.m. on July 21 at the Baggs Community Recreation Center. Encampment and Riverside did not have representatives attending.

Jim Espy, who is a transportation commissioner who represents Commission District 2, serving Albany, Carbon and Sweetwater counties was present as was Larry S. Hicks who is a member of the Wyoming State Senate, representing District 11.

The agenda was amended to allow time for Wyoming Department of Transportation (WDOT) to give a presentation on the projects being worked on in Carbon County. Ralph Tarango, District 1 Engineer spoke first.

“I do want to mention that I have taken over for Tom Dehoff last November,” Tarango said. “A lot of my team is also new to their positions too, but all are experienced.”

Tarango said a major reason he was at the CCCOG meeting was public input.

He said the purpose: of WYDOT was to support Wyoming’s economy while safely connecting communities and improving the quality of life. The mission was to provide a safe and effective transportation system.

Tarango said the vision of WYDOT is to have excellence in transportation and the values were respect, integrity, dedication, excellence and safety known as RIDES.

“Our goals are to ensure a vibrant, safe and competent workforce, acquire and responsibly manage resources,” Tarango said. “WYDOT wants to provide safe, reliable and effective transportation systems, provide essential public safety services and effective communication systems, create and enhance partnerships with transportation stakeholders, encourage and support innovation and preserve our history and heritage.”

Tarango said WYDOT’s guiding principles were to align expenditures with available revenue amount and source; focus on addressing identified critical life safety issues; prioritize WYDOT asset preservation based on condition of the asset to meet established goals; improve operational effectiveness and efficiency; prioritize activities to minimize negative impacts to the public and address mobility and capacity through system improvements and enhancements.

“We do 6,700 miles to maintain along with 6,000 bridges and structures,” Tarango said. “”I want to point out our bridges are getting to the end of their life cycle, especially I-80. Many are 50 years old and over the years we have done a lot of overlays and rehabs, but the time has come there has to be replacement.”

Tarango said a consultant was hired to find out how much it would take to just maintain the roads and the figure came in at $354.3 million.

The State Transportation Improvement Projects (STIP) for Carbon County this year included WY 130 at mile marker 57 near Ryan Park. It is bridge repair that is estimated to cost $600,000. The project will start in August.

The I-80 Winter Freight Project will start in the fall. It will be adding truck parking spaces to Quealy Dome and Ft. Steele rest areas. It will be adding truck climbing lanes to Cooper Cove (mile marker 281.5-279.5) and Halleck Ridge (mile markers 250.5-252.5). The cost is 20 million being funded by a federal BUILD grant.

I-80 at Elk Mountain between mile markers 252.7to 258.8 both eastbound amd westbound there will be mill, overlay and seal coat work. It will run about $8 million. The project started in May.

At Sinclair I-80 at mile markers 221.3 to 227.5 both eastbound and westbound there will be mill, overlay, seal coat, structure work. The cost is estimated to run about $8.8 million. It was started in March.

Close to I-80 at Creston Junction interchange work on WY 789 work is slated to start in September. It will have mill, overlay, seal coat, structure work running about $4.7 million.

In 2022 projects slated are on WY 70 near Savery East, mill, overlay, seal coat, structure work will be done estimated to cost $2.7 million.

On WY 72 north near Hanna at mile markers 0 to 3.12 mill, overlay, seal coat will be done costing about $1.3 million.

I-80 at Arlington mile markers 267 to 275.6 mill, overlay, high performance wearing course, structure work will be done estimated to cost $9.8 million.

There is also work on Rawlins streets that have no cost yet.

When asked for questions Hicks had one about the truck pullovers on I-80.

“My concern is the pullovers we have in our district are garbage dumps. Quite frankly I don’t want to see any more until there is a way to keep them clean,” Hicks said. “They are an embarrassment for Wyoming. I would just like to know what WYDOT thinks can be done to alleviate the situation.”

Tarango said he agreed it was a problem and a hazard.

“I really don’t know the solution, and we are open to suggestions,” Tarango said.

Hicks suggest surveillance cameras and strong fines for offenders.

“This is a problem we need to address,” Hicks said.

Tarango said enforcement was difficult because WYDOT didn’t have the manpower to do it all.

Staffing in general has been difficult for WYDOT. In District 1 there have been about 20 vacancies for about three to four months.

After the presentation CCCOG elected Travis Moore as chairman, Jon Nelson as vice-chairman and Anna Marie Waldron as secretary/treasurer.

The next scheduled meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on September 15 at Elk Mountain.


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