Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Marcus Huff
Staff Writer 

WYDOT reviews future projects for Washakie County improvements


August 17, 2017

WORLAND – Engineers and representatives from the Wyoming Department of Transportation District 5 office held an information session with the county commission and local leaders on Wednesday, to review the State Transportation Improvement Program for 2017-2018 and go over budget numbers and schedule for future projects in Washakie County.

District 5 Engineer Pete Hallsten noted that due to state budget cuts, WYDOT is currently working at a $5 million deficit, but has $56 million for improvements for District 5, which includes Washakie, Big Horn and Hot Springs counties, and Highway 16 toward Buffalo.

Hallsten noted that the maintenance budget is at $15 million, with 50 percent of that going toward resurfacing of roadways, and 50 percent going to snow control during the winter.

Anticipated revenue for 2017, for state-wide use by WYDOT, is expected to be $628,618,895, according to Hallsten.

Current and immediate projects for Washakie County include:

Ten Sleep bridge repair at a cost of $488,435

Chip sealing the Big Trails section of WYO 434 at a cost of $979,385

Paving WYO 434 at a accost of $217,000

For 2019, projects include:

Scrub sealing the Big Trails section of WYO 434 at a cost of $800,000

Levelling US 16 at Cottonwood Creek at a cost of $3,230,820

For 2020 through 2023, projects include:

Chip sealing 36 miles of Hwy. 16 between Worland and Ten Sleep at a cost of $3,214,132

Replacing bridges along West River Road at a cost of $2,500,000

Chip sealing and levelling Gooseberry Creek Road at a cost of $1,500,000

Washakie County Commission Chairman Terry Wolf shared photos of sediment buildup under the Big Horn River bridge on U.S. 20, as monitored by Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Chenoweth. Due to the amount of sediment coming out of the badlands, an island has been formed under the bridge, obstructing the support pillars.

Hallsten noted that WYDOT has the authority to remove the sediment, but will need to confer with bridge engineers first.

“We definitely have an interest in clearing that [sediment] out to increase the longevity of the bridge,” said Hallsten.

Washakie County Homeland Security & Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Schweighart spoke with the engineers regarding the removal of the Big Horn river sediment bar, scheduled for removal later this year. Due to certain rules, the estimated 18,700 cubic feet of material removed from the river must be transferred for storage or government use.

WYDOT agreed at Wednesday’s meeting to tentatively take some of the dirt for their use for various projects once the county has finished removal.

See related story regarding the sediment bar removal.


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