I-80 Road Closure and Condition Update
Eastbound CLOSED from Rock Springs to Rawlins; Westbound OPEN
by Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT)
February 7, 2008
WYDOT Interstate 80 Update, February 7, 2008, 3:39 PM:
*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***
WYDOT crews were able to open I-80 in both directions this morning by overcoming extremely high winds and zero visibility, especially in the Elk Mountain/Arlington area. US 30 has been reopened as well.
The winds have picked back up considerably in southeast and southcentral Wyoming.
Currently, I-80 westbound is open across the state, but I-80 eastbound from Rock Springs to Rawlins is closed as WYDOT crews work to carve back an approximately six mile patch of drifting snow and fierce winds in the Creston area. The drifting area is expanding eastward.
This is what we have currently operating:
- Four plows from Rawlins are working between Rawlins and Creston.
- Two Medicine Bow plows are working between Walcott and Rock River.
- Elk Mountain has three plows out working their section.
- Arlington has two plows out working their section.
- Laramie has two plows west of Laramie.
- We have reinforcements in three motor graders, three rotary blowers, and one more plow on their way to the area.
The WYDOT forecast indicates these high winds will continue into tomorrow morning with gusts to 80 miles per hour in southcentral Wyoming.
As in the past, when closures remain in effect for several hours or more it is very likely that I-80 and other roads in the affected area will be closed as adjacent towns become overloaded with travelers.
For example, when I-80 near Rawlins is unpassble we will typically close I-80 westbound from Laramie and eastbound from Rock Springs. If facilities for halted travelers then fill up in Laramie and Rock Springs, we must relieve pressure towards the storm. In this case, by closing to Cheyenne on the east end of the state and Evanston on the west end.
WYDOT has alerted officials in Nebraska and Utah that this is a possibility with this storm.
Travelers are advised to take this into consideration and plan accordingly.