Mudslide closes Snake River Canyon between Alpine and Hoback
WYDOT maintenance crews continue to battle the mudslide at milepost 127on US 89, but the slide is moving faster than the crews can handle. Commuters to Jackson should be prepared to take an alternate route as it is questionable if the highway will reopen in time for the Monday morning commute. Photo by David Kaufman, Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT).
Commuters should be prepared to take alternate routes
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
May 15, 2011
JACKSON – A large mud landslide continues to encroach US 89 and despite efforts of WYDOT maintenance crews to clear the debris, the highway remains closed. Commuters to Jackson should be prepared to take an alternate route on Monday morning as it is questionable if the highway will reopen in time for the commute.
The slide began to encroach on the westbound lane early Saturday morning. Jackson maintenance crews began to move the debris in an effort to keep the roadway open, but by Saturday night the slide movement had accelerated to a point where two front end loaders and a fleet of six trucks could not keep up.
Sunday morning, Jackson maintenance forces were joined by addition trucks from the Afton crew. John Eddins, WYDOT District 3 District Engineer said that he estimates the debris is reaching the highway at the rate of a couple of feet an hour, and the efforts are proving to be futile as the debris is moving across the roadway as fast as the crews can load it.
Additional resources are being brought in to assist the WYDOT crews in an attempt get ahead of the mudslide. Additional road information can be found on WYDOT’s Road and Travel website, www.wyoroad.info or by calling 511, (out-of-state call 1-888-996-7623). Additional details will be sent out as they become available.
Snake River to close overnight due to landslide
Saturday, May 14, 2011, Wyoming Department of Transportation
JACKSON – WYDOT is anticipating closing US 89 at milepost 127 through the Snake River Canyon at 10 p.m. tonight due to a mudslide. Jackson Maintenance crews have been working throughout the day on Saturday to keep up with the water and mud reaching the highway.
As nightfall approached, WYDOT District 3 Administrators made the decision to close the highway if conditions became unsafe to keep WYDOT maintenance workers out on the highway. Jackson Maintenance Foreman, Ed Smith, described the area as "a big oozing blob," as he watched portions of the hillside slide toward the highway.
Smith said he intends to return to the canyon to access the situation Sunday morning and potentially partially reopen the highway using flaggers to get the traffic through safely. Additional road information can be found on WYDOT’s Road and Travel website, www.wyoroad.info or by calling 511, (out-of-state call 1-888-996-7623).
Additional details will be sent out as they become available.