Driving lane gone on Chief Joseph Scenic Highway slide
Posted On May 12, 2017
A moisture-related slide near Dead Indian Creek on Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (WY296) continues to move, as the northbound lane of the highway continues to move downhill.
“We have lost the northbound lane of the highway, but we are maintaining two-way traffic,” said Wyoming Department of Transportation District Engineer Pete Hallsten of Basin. “Our Cody maintenance crew has filled in the ditch on the uphill side of the highway and surfaced it with mill tailings to provide adequate width for two-way traffic at the present time.”
If the hillside continues to slide this spring and summer, Hallsten said WYDOT is planning for the possibility of not having enough room for one-way traffic on the highway. “The roadway to Cooke City (Montana) is now open for the season, so people who live in this valley have another way out of the Sunlight and Crandall areas if we lose the entire width of the highway,” he said.
The Dead Indian Creek slide is in the roadway at milepost 26.1, about 20 miles west of Wyomng 296’s intersection with Wyoming 120. The slide caused the roadway to begin dropping in March.
Hallsten said the long-term repair of the slide “is now beyond what we could do with our maintenance crews. (WYDOT) Geology is still mapping this slide to determine how big it is and what is causing it. We still have not determined what it will take to stabilize the slide and repair the road. We believe this could be a small failure within a giant ancient landslide.”