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Pinedale Online > News > May 2007 > WYDOT STIP Update

Daniel Road Construction. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Daniel Road Construction
The Daniel Hwy 189 project involves replacing 4 miles of road overlay from Daniel south. The project will be completed in the fall of 2007. It cost $1.9 million. Pinedale Online photo taken on May 18, 2007.

Marbleton Bike Path. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Marbleton Bike Path
WYDOT funds can be used to help pay for new bike paths next to state roads. The Marbleton bike-walking path will go from the Marbleton town limits to the Sublette County Fairgrounds. Pinedale Online photo taken May 18, 2007.

Road patching. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Road patching
The Horse Creek road is a county road, not state maintained, meaning Sublette County pays for the road repair and maintenance costs. Natural gas exploratory well drilling on National Forest land northwest of this location will significantly increase the heavy truck traffic on this road and resulting costs to keep it repaired. The wells may or may not prove up to produce gas which would result in tax revenue to the county. The BLM says they are not responsible for these increased socio-economic burdens placed on communities from federal land management decisions. Pinedale Online file photo.

Green River bridge accident. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Green River bridge accident
Two-truck accident on the Green River Bridge on WYO 351 on October 18, 2006. Neither driver was seriously injured. Traffic was stopped in both directions for several hours due to the accident on the bridge. Pinedale Online file photo.

Deer on Road Sign. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Deer on Road Sign
WYDOT spent hundreds of thousands of dollars installing an elaborate flashing light warning system at Trappers Point on US Hwy 191 between Pinedale and Daniel several years ago.

Paradise Road. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Paradise Road
The Sublette County Commissioners are working to try and create a new Industrial Use Road from Pinedale south to the gas fields to take gasfield traffic off of US 191 and Paradise Road. Pinedale Online file photo.

Pinedale Anticline. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Pinedale Anticline
The BLM says socio-economic impacts to local communities and increases in costs due to heavy truck traffic, road deterioration impacts and social service needs resulting from increased activity on federal lands (the gas boom in Sublette County), are not their problem. WYDOT and local counties are struggling to keep up with the increased costs due to these impacts. Pinedale Online file photo.

Gas field traffic across bridges. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Gas field traffic across bridges
Crews move oversized gas-field equipment across the New Fork Bridge on WYO 351 on May 19, 2007. Warning signs were posted on the highway to warn motorists that a rig move was in progress on the road. Pinedale Online file photo.

WYDOT South Pass webcam. Photo by WYDOT.
WYDOT South Pass webcam
WYDOT has many webcams showing road conditions on important highways across the state. This is an image from the South Pass webcam on WYO 28. WYDOT is using the web more and more to help get road and travel information out to the public in a timely fashion.
WYDOT STIP Transportation Update
State Transportation Improvement Program, Reporter’s Notes
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
May 27, 2007

Representatives from the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) gave a presentation in Pinedale on Thursday, May 24, to give an overview on their road construction and transportation plans and proposals for the next 6-7 years for the District 3 (southwest Wyoming) area. WYDOT holds meetings such as this every May to inform the public of their upcoming plans and to get feedback on travel and transportation needs and issues. For those who missed this meeting, the State Transportation Improvement Program is available online on their website in PDF format at:

District 3 is comprised of Sublette, Teton, Sweetwater, Uinta and Lincoln counties. Project priorities are set annually and projects are scheduled to meet the yearly construction budget for the next five years. Priorities are set based on pavement condition, bridge condition, traffic volumes, accident history and public input. It takes up to five years for a project to get from identification to the construction phase. Environmental issues, wetlands, acquiring rights of ways, utility conflicts and other complications can cause a project to take longer to get to the contract stage.

WYDOT Construction Budget
WYDOT’s District 3 construction budget from 2007-2013 (projected) is as follows:
2007: $ 101,800,000
2008: $ 52,700,000
2009: $ 59,400,000
2010: $ 61,200,000
2011: $ 61,900,000
2012: $ 64,400,000
2013: $ 63,800,000

Construction Costs
Construction costs are rising every year. Cost of fuel, cement and steel are approximately double what they were four years ago. They have seen an 87% increase in costs due to inflation over the last three years. WYDOT finds themselves also competing with the oil and gas industry for skilled workers and construction labor bidding on projects.

Current construction costs are:
2-Lane Road Resurface: $500,000-$750,000/mile
4-Lane Road Resurface: $750,000-$1.5 million/mile
2-Lane Asphalt Reconstruction: $750,000-$1.5 million/mile
4-Lane Asphalt Reconstruction: $1.5 million-$2.5 million/mile
4-Lane Concrete Reconstruction: $2.5 million-$3.5 million/mile

WYDOT’s total budget in 2007 was $395,000,000. Each District got approximately $79,000,000 in 2007 (adjusted according to projects priorities and urgency needs).

For every $1 spent on maintaining roads, it saves WYDOT $4 to $8 in reconstruction work in the future. Maintenance such as crack sealing, chip seal overlays

In 2007, the Wyoming Stage Legislature listened to WYDOT’s concerns that needed projects were not being done, and they directed an additional $100,000,000 of surplus funds into WYDOT programs. WYDOT hopes to get additional funding for upcoming years, but word has not yet come from the legislature whether or not these funds will be given.

Things that increase construction costs
Sublette County Commissioner John Linn raised concerns about how upcoming changes in the language of the Clean Water Act will impact WYDOT and cost of future projects. Apparently the US Army Corps of Engineers requires a 1:1 ratio on replacement on wetlands. Also, there is a possible change in the delineation of wetlands from navigable waters to all waters. If the language change goes into effect, “We’d need a permit to put a blade in our bar ditches,” Linn said.

District Engineer John Eddins added, “We are now required to mitigate those wetlands we created 20 years ago!”

Need for Pinedale Anticline Industry Bypass Road
Commissioners Linn and Joel Bousman discussed the need for an Industry Bypass Road somewhere on the Mesa to go from south of Pinedale to WYO 351 to take gas field traffic off Paradise Road and US 191. The location has not yet been determined, but the county is taking a hard look at possibilities. WYDOT officials told the Commissioners about an Industrial Road Program (IRP), funding from which can be used to do surveying, and looking at rights-of-ways to help get the project going. “We know the traffic monster, the big problem we have, is coming off 351,” Linn said. “They call it the Jonah 500,” he said. Linn added, “The bridge on the Green River (on WYO 351) is one of the most dangerous places in Sublette County.”

WYDOT officials expressed their perspective that they need to evaluate the long term use and costs for these major construction projects. They have to evaluate whether or not the boom will last to continue to contribute the traffic impact to justify the cost poured into road repair. “If we put all this in and we go from boom to bust and 351 goes back to running 250 trucks a day...” Eddins said. “Is it (the boom) going to be here for the next 20 years?”

Regarding the huge impacts to area roads and to local communities due to the oil and gas boom on federal land in Sublette County, Linn commented that they don’t seem to have much effect on the BLM helping with transportation issues. “We’re dealing with impacts, which are horses out of the barn, so to speak,” he said. “The BLM told us they weren’t responsible for socio-economic impacts.” Several WYDOT representatives echoed this frustration. “We are being totally reactive. We all get thrown into reactive mode when we get hit with the cumulative impacts,” Eddins said. The BLM is sticking to their position that they are not responsible for socioeconomic impacts to local communities due to their activities and decisions on federal lands in counties.

Funding comes from the following sources:
Federal Aid 38%
Highway User Fees 22%
State Legislative Funds 19%
Mineral Royalties 12%
Federal Grants 7%
Interest Local Match 2%

Traffic lights in Pinedale, Pedestrian Crossing Lights
WYDOT officials also commented on the issue of adding traffic lights in Pinedale. Their current plans are to install 2 pedestrian crossing lights rather than traffic lights. One would be on Tyler Avenue and the other is yet to be determined (perhaps Sublette Ave or at the Willow Lake Road intersection – they are open to suggestions on this second location). In order to install traffic light on Tyler Avenue and Pine Street, they would have to put in a center left turn lane, which would impact the parking and business frontage for the businesses at that intersection. WYDOT said they felt the pedestrian activated crossing lights would be a good compromise and short-term solution to the problem.

Future Proposed Projects:
(Selected projects for the Upper Green River Valley area. WYDOT has other projects planned that are not listed here. See their website for the complete list.)

2007 Current Projects (under contract and being implemented this summer):

US 191: 16 Passing Lanes between Rock Springs and Pinedale. Expected completion Fall 2008, cost $15,000,000. Sublette & Sweetwater Counties.

I-80: Reconstruction from Pilot Butte to Dewar Drive in Rock Springs. Expected completion Fall 2008, cost $46,000,000. Sweetwater County.

Daniel Hwy 189: Pavement Overlay From Daniel Junction south 4 miles. Expected completion Fall 2007. Cost $1,900,000. Sublette County.

2008 Proposed Projects:

WYO 351: Pavement overlay for 12 miles. Ends at 191/351 intersection. Cost $1,900,000. Sublette County.

US 191: Repair bridge over Little Sandy River just south of Farson. Cost $300,000. Sweetwater County.

Fremont Lake Road (Pinedale): Bridge replacement for Town of Pinedale over Lee Ditch. Cost $500,000. Sublette County.

US 191 Right-of-Way fence replacement: Daniel Junction to Hoback Junction, 1 mile of fence. Cost $27,000. Sublette County.

US 189 & Hwy 351 Intersection: North bound turn lanes. Cost $100,000. Sublette County.

2009 Proposed Projects:

US 191: Bondurant to Hoback Canyon road reconstruction, 5 miles. Cost $7,000,000. Sublette County.

WYO 28: Beginning 4 miles east of Farson, proceeding easterly for 10 miles. Widen and pavement overlay with safety grading. Cost $8,200,000. Sweetwater County.

US 191: Pinedale west city limits west 10 miles, pavement overlay. Cost $3,300,000. Sublette County.

Pinedale Pedestrian Crossing Lights: 2 sets within Pinedale, one at Tyler Ave & Pine Street, 2nd set location not yet decided. Cost $250,000. Sublette County.

New Rest Area at Opal: On US 30 in Lincoln County. Cost $4,400,000.


2010 Proposed Projects:

US 191/189 Hoback Junction: Bridge replacement over Snake River and intersection reconstruction. Cost $18,700,000. Teton County.

Hoback Junction: Landscaping and pathway enhancement. Cost $270,000. Teton County.

Teton Pass: Runaway truck ramp. Cost $2,500,000. Teton County.

US 191 at Eden: Construct a five-lane section north of Eden for 1.5 miles. Cost $4,500,000. Sweetwater County.


2011 Proposed Projects:

Pinedale Bike Path: From north city limits of Pinedale for 2 miles on US 191. Cost $260,000. Sublette County.

US 189 at LaBarge: Widen and pavement overlays from north city limits of LaBarge north on US 189 for 5.8 miles. Cost $7,900,000. Lincoln County.

WY 353, Boulder: Pavement overlay from Boulder east on WY 353 for 15.5 miles. Cost $3,600,000. Sublette County.

US 191 at Pinedale: Add 5 lanes from west city limits of Pinedale west 4 miles. Cost $3,400,000. Sublette County.


2012 Proposed Projects:

US 89 north from Hoback Junction: Road reconstruction from Hoback Junction to South Park Road. Cost $36,600,000. Teton County.

US 191 in Pinedale: Bike path construction from south city limits of Pinedale south 2 miles. Cost $260,000. Sublette County.


2013 Proposed Projects:

US 189: From Hoback Junction east for 3 miles, reconstruction and slide repair. Cost $15,000,000. Teton County.

WYO 28 at Farson: Pavement overlay beginning at Farson proceeding west 8 miles. Cost $6,200,000. Sweetwater County.

Wardell Road: Replace bridge. Cost $400,000. Sublette County.


Projects go to the Traffic Commissioners in September and are approved in October each year. (Note: Jim Latta is one of the Traffic Commissioners.) Results are posted on the WYDOT website. For more information on the WYDOT District 3 STIP, contact Leroy Wells, District Construction Engineer (Rock Springs) at 307-352-3032,

Related Links
  • Wyoming Department of Transportation
  • STIP (State Transportation Improvement Program) - Wyoming Department of Transportation
  • Accident on Green River Bridge/WYO 351 - Pinedale Online, October 10, 2006 (12 photos)
  • Pinedale Online > News > May 2007 > WYDOT STIP Update

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