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Projects set as WyDOT keeps eye on future funding cuts

Jun 13, 2012 - By Joshua Scheer, Staff Writer

As concerns rise about state funding cutbacks that could affect road maintenance and repairs, the Wyoming Department of Transportation lists numerous projects already under way or in the works for Fremont County.

The biggest, which WyDOT district construction engineer Keith Compton said will take three years, is the reconstruction of 17 Mile Road. The project has an estimated price tag of nearly $19 million.

WyDOT leaders are warning local officials that expected reductions in the department's budget for the next biennium are likely to lead to fewer road improvement projects and more work aimed at preserving roads that are in acceptable condition now.

Other projects on the WyDOT calendar:

2012

- About six miles of Highway 287 north of Fort Washakie will go through a slope flattening and upgrade.

- "It seems we're spending a lot of money and time in Wind River Canyon," Compton said.

He said the river has caused problems along some of the shoulder, and retention walls will be installed to protect the road from the encroaching water.

- The Double Nickle Slide about 25 miles south of Lander on Highway 28 is undergoing a $6.5 million repair this year.

Carlson said much of the damage was caused by floodwaters in 2010, but it didn't qualify for emergency funding because planning had already begun.

- A half-mile of reconstruction is in the works above Red Canyon.

- Highway 28 on South Pass will be getting variable speed limits and flashing beacons.

- The bridge at Mortimore Lane south of Lander is in the process of being replaced.

-- Highway 26 at the Wind River crossing will be subjected to erosion repairs caused by flooding last year. Compton said the project has not been bid out yet.

2013

- Riverton will be the subject of several large and soon-to-be-rare reconstruction projects next fiscal year.

Together, those streets are expected to cost roughly $6.3 million that year.

- On Highway 28, slope flattening will be done on a four-mile stretch near South Pass City. Compton said this was to reduce the severity of run-off-the-road crashes. This is being done with $800,000 in safety improvement funds, which the district only gets $3 million of each year.

- Highway 287, in the Beaver Creek area, will receive an overlay with isolated reconstruction to the tune of $4.4 million.

2014 and beyond

- Work on Riverton streets will continue in 2014, costing $9.1 million. Compton said he believes the project will cost more than currently budgeted.

- In 2015, a three-mile section of Highway 789 between Hudson and Riverton is scheduled to be widened and resurfaced.

- That same year, 10 miles of Highway 28 on South Pass will receive an overlay and chip seal.

- In 2016, a seven-mile portion of Highway 132 south of Ethete is slated to be rebuilt.

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