Governor Mark Gordon announced in a release on Friday that the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) will close 10 rest areas around the state to reduce the agency’s operating costs.
According to the release, the closures will go into effect on June 15.
“This is a painful reality but a necessary step given our state’s fiscal situation,” Governor Gordon said in the release. “This will have real impacts, not only for travelers, but for the custodial staff contracted to provide services to these facilities. These workers are our friends and neighbors in Wyoming communities around the state.”
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According to the release, the areas are:
Lusk on US 18; Guernsey on US 26; Greybull on US 14-16-20; Moorcroft on Interstate 90; Star Valley on US 89; Ft. Steele on Interstate 80; Sundance on Interstate 90; Upton on US 16; and Orin Junction and Chugwater, both located on Interstate 25.
The release says the areas chosen would have as minimal impact on travelers as possible.
The closures will save WYDOT roughly $197,453 from June 15 through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. In all the savings will amount to $789,812 per year.
The facilities chosen are within “a reasonable distance” of a town with proper facilities, said the release.
Wyoming is facing a budget shortfall of nearly $1.5 billion over the next biennium as tax revenue from the fossil fuel industry evaporates and the COVID pandemic hits tourism.