WYDOT working to ensure COVID-19 supplies make it through snowstorm

Truck driving in snowstorm
Truck driving in snowstorm

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Crews from the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) are preparing for a spring storm expected to impact the state Thursday and Friday, March 19-20. The storm is predicted to bring anywhere from 5 to 9 inches of snow in the southwest part of the state and 8 to 12 inches in the southeastern, south-central and east-central parts of the state. Travel impacts will likely occur along interstates 80 and 25.

“We’re always prepared for weather events that occur in Wyoming,” said K. Luke Reiner, WYDOT director. “In the event of a road closure, our maintenance crews and the Wyoming Highway Patrol will work with officials to ensure COVID-19-related supplies get through. We will do everything in our power to ensure these vital supplies get to their communities.”

Health officials or suppliers needing assistance transporting COVID-19-related materials or supplies on a closed road are asked to contact the state’s highway patrol dispatch at 307-777-4321.

During any storm event, WYDOT crews work hard to keep the interstates and roads open. Closures typically occur when conditions such as blowing snow cause whiteout conditions, making roadways too hazardous for travelers, or if there is an accident blocking the travel lanes.

Maintenance crews are always prepared in the event of weather. In Cheyenne earlier this week, crews were busy getting deicing materials and equipment ready.

“We’re doing the usual things we do for any weather event,” said Don Bridges, area maintenance supervisor for Cheyenne/Pine Bluffs. “We’re checking all of our equipment and making sure everything is ready to go.”

Crews are looking at all the snowplow truck attachments, such as the cutting edges on the plows, lighting and other parts, to make sure they are functioning properly.

“We’re testing our equipment and making any necessary adjustments,” said Bridges.

Crews in the Cheyenne area have been busy for the last few days maintaining the roads due to freezing fog that has impacted southeast Wyoming. The work of those crews and other WYDOT crews will continue as the new storm system moves through the state.

The southwestern part of the state, from Rock Springs to the Utah state line, along I-80 is expected to receive about 5 to 9 inches of snow.

Rawlins to the Nebraska state line along I-80 and I-25 from the Colorado state line to Casper and toward Lusk is expected to get between 8 to 12 inches of snow. In that area of the state, winds could be as strong as 30 to 45 mph with blizzard conditions in some areas.

WYDOT officials advise travelers to check the department’s 511 website, wyoroad.info for the latest road and travel information.

Motorists can also download WYDOT’s 511 app to receive the latest road and travel information on their smartphone at wyoroad.info/511/WY511Mobile.html. The app provides hands-free, eyes-free information.

Additionally, motorists can apply for the WYDOT Authorized Travel program that allows motorists to drive on sections of closed roads when authorities deem it is safe to do so. For more information on the WAT program, visit wat.wyoroad.info/REWAT/wat.

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