State Budget Cuts to Affect Plowing Wyoming Roads
The Wyoming Department of Transportation will ratchet down its plans for plowing state and federal roads this winter due to harsh budget cuts, according to a prepared statement from WYDOT.
“We will have to strictly adhere to our winter maintenance budget, which means there likely won’t be any wiggle room to go over budget if we have a particularly severe winter,” WYDOT Director Luke Reiner said in the prepared statement.
"However, we will continue to provide winter maintenance services based on our limited budget," Reiner said.
In recent years, crews have plowed snow as needed and where needed during a storm.
But WYDOT made the decision to return to its original method of determining highway priority and how many hours of snow removal each highway receives.
Highways will be plowed, but they may remain snow-covered at times, and overnight plowing may not happen or be reduced depending on the timing of a snow event.
Crews may not plow road shoulders immediately, and clear them later in the snow event or the next day.
WYDOT will continue to use road traction materials such as an abrasive salt-sand mixture, and liquid and granular de-icing products.
It also will work with school districts to help ensure designated bus routes receive service, and to keep them informed of changing conditions and closures.
WYDOT operates in five districts, with District 2 covering Natrona, Converse, Niobrara, Platte and Goshen counties; southeast Fremont County, northern Carbon County, and southern Johnson County.
The levels of service for the state’s highways are consistent throughout Wyoming.
However a highway may receive one level of service in one district and receive a higher or lower level of service within another district.
WYDOT also sets priorities, or levels, of service in the districts.
These are WYDOT’s levels and sublevels of service for District 2:
Level 1A roads -- These receive 24-hour service. There are no highways at this level within District 2. (Interstate 80 is a Level 1A road.)
Level 1B roads -- These receive up to 20 hours service per day with minimum service necessary to allow traffic to move safely at a restricted speed. Plowing methods and frequency should be sufficient to keep snow ridges and dangerous drifting to a minimum. Interstate 25 is the only highway within District 2 at this designation.
Level 2 roads -- These receive up to 16 hours per day for traffic observing reasonable winter driving precautions. Plowing methods and frequency should be sufficient to minimize minor snow ridges and dangerous drifting.
Highways within District 2 designated Level 2 are:
- U.S. Highway 20/26 Casper to Shoshoni and U.S. Highway 26 to the Nebraska state line.
- U.S. Highway 20 to the Nebraska state line.
- Wyoming Highway 220.
- WYO 487.
- WYO 251 (Casper Mountain Road).
- WYO 258 (Wyoming Boulevard).
- WYO 257 (West Belt Loop).
- U.S. Highway 85.
- WYO 59.
- U.S. Highway 20/26/87 (Old Glenrock Highway).
- WYO 387.
- WYO 34 (Wheatland to the Albany County line).
- WYO 270.
- WYO 151.
- WYO 154.
Level 3A roads -- WYDOT will provide minimum service necessary for traffic observing reasonable winter driving precautions and speeds. Plowing methods and frequency should be sufficient to minimize larger snow ridges and dangerous drifting during daylight hours. Crews will apply abrasives and chemicals when necessary on hills, curves and hazardous locations.
WYDOT will close the road when warranted by visibility limitations or other extreme situations. If necessary, WYDOT will allow roads to close because of the weather and reopen as soon as resources are available.
Highways within District 2 at designated Level 3A are:
- Wyoming Highway 191.
- WYO 192.
- WYO 93.
- WYO 313.
- WYO 319.
- WYO 270.
- WYO 92.
- WYO 73.
- WYO 271.
- WYO 272.
- WYO 256.
Level 3B roads -- WYDOT will provide minimum service as resources become available. Crews will apply abrasives and chemicals as necessary on hills, curves and hazardous locations. Road conditions shall govern whether the public may travel at their own risk, as conditions allow.
Highways within District 2 at designated Level 3B are:
- All interstate highway frontage roads.
- Wyoming Highway 253 (Hat Six Road).
- WYO 159.
- WYO 161.
- WYO 158.
- WYO 316.
- WYO 314.
- WYO 315.
- WYO 91.
- WYO 94.
- WYO 190.
- WYO 161.
Level 4 roads -- WYDOT closes roads in the fall as mandated by heavy snow and weather, and reopens them as soon as practical in the spring.
The northern portion of WYO 77 is the only Level 4 highway within District 2.
WYDOT crews will perform cleanup operations at the end of the storm during normal scheduled working hours after all other levels of snow control service have been accomplished. This operation includes clearing any snow-blocked approaches, removing drifted areas off the roadway, and removing of snow piles at intersections and turnarounds.
To view the snowplow priority plan, visit WYDOT’s website.
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