CASPER, Wyo. — A $20 million “winter freight” project along Interstate 80 between Laramie and Rawlins is resuming following a winter pause, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
“Traffic on I-80 will start seeing impacts Monday as crews start structure work and begin building climbing lanes on I-80,” WYDOT says. “Work will impact the eastbound lanes over Halleck Ridge (mile markers 250.5-252.5) west of Elk Mountain and in the westbound lanes between Quealy Dome and Cooper Cove (mile markers 281.5-279.5) near the Albany/Carbon County line.”
“Watch for lane closures, reduced speed limits and other traffic changes during construction. Avoid distractions like cell phones when driving through work zones.”
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The project began in fall 2020 and Simon Contractors are resuming efforts to build about 100 new semitruck parking spaces at the Fort Steele Rest Area east of Rawlins and 100 new spaces at the Quealy Dome parking area west of Laramie.
“This additional truck parking is much-needed,” said WYDOT District 1 Construction Engineer Wes Bybee. “The additional parking areas can help reduce the number of fall-asleep crashes, reduce crashes and operating costs for trucks searching for parking, and offer truck drivers an alternative place to park and wait out poor weather conditions.”
The Fort Steele Rest Area, including parking areas, will be closed throughout construction.
“Flaggers may be present to direct local traffic through the area,” WYDOT said. “Please avoid parking on the on- and off-ramps in the Fort Steele interchange as it will likely impede work at the rest area. Once the project is complete, the rest area will reopen.”
The project is being funded by a federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant. WYDOT says it is expected to be complete in October 2022.
“Project scheduling is subject to change, including due to inclement weather and material or equipment availability,” WYDOT notes