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Sunday, June 9, 2024



Landslide Major Wyoming highway portion falls

Landslide Major Wyoming highway portion falls, obstructing a vital transit route

Landslide Major Wyoming highway portion falls, obstructing a vital transit route

A large landslide on Saturday morning caused a portion of Teton Pass, a vital highway that winds through the mountains of western Wyoming, to collapse. This cut off the main transit route connecting two cities in the area. The road will likely be blocked for a long time, according to officials, endangering the jobs of about half of the workers in and around the popular tourist destinations of Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Park. They have not disclosed a schedule for the repairs, though.

Early on Saturday morning, the Wyoming Department of Transportation's Teton County department said that the Teton Pass road at milepost 12.8 had "catastrophically failed" and posted multiple photos to social media illustrating the magnitude of the devastation. Officials stated that as the landslide collapsed further and virtually wrecked an entire piece of the adjacent highway, workers were attempting to construct a detour around the original collapse. Nobody was hurt.

The department stated in their release that "WYDOT is currently reviewing a long-term solution and repairs, and more information on planning efforts will be available soon." At the 15-mile point on Teton Pass, workers were also clearing debris from another mudslide at that moment.

The sole direct route between Victor, Idaho, and Jackson, Wyoming is via Teton Pass, which is carved out of the Teton mountain range and spans around 17 miles. For workers who commute from eastern Idaho to Teton County, which includes Jackson, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton, the highway is essential. However, it is also notoriously treacherous at certain times of the year and is typically closed due to weather-related safety concerns.

"We recognize that this roadway is essential for travelers, deliveries, access to healthcare, and commuters, particularly given the scarcity of alternatives and the arrival of summer," stated Darin Westby, the director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, in a statement following the collapse. "WYDOT engineers, surveyors and geologists mobilized quickly to try to maintain highway viability as long as possible, but catastrophic failure could not be avoided."

The Transportation Department, according to Westby, was present at the location and "decisively engaged on fixing the road and restoring connectivity to the Teton Valley."

According to a Federal Highway Administration report on the Teton Pass corridor's safety that was finished in January of last year, the route "offers a critical connection for commuters and recreationists traveling from Victor, Idaho, and Jackson, Wyoming." Normally, it would take about 30 minutes to complete the trip in a car, or a little more if taking public transportation. Alternative routes take tourists on a lengthy detour covering around 85 miles and approximately three times as long due to the high mountain scenery.

Following the collapse of Teton Pass, a statement on the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board's website stated that all municipal businesses will be open, along with Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. According to that statement, the board also acknowledged that employees who live in Idaho and commute to Teton County—roughly 40% of the county's workforce—will probably face repercussions from the highway's permanent closure.

"Although businesses will do their best to support employees and commuters, and will work to remain open and maintain normal operating hours and services, it is expected that the workforce will be affected," the board of transport and tourism said. "As a community, we ask visitors and locals to exercise patience and understanding if you experience longer than normal wait times or interruptions in services."

Via

https://www.facebook.com/wydotjackson/posts/pfbid0m8i9Fp2ohQmNthFZ7QpamrnTucepzTwZFRAyRHmvc55oxPmQ27852yZ21DtFucC9l?ftag=YHF4eb9d17

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