Memorial Day rockfall caused traffic issues in northern Wyoming

WYDOT

Roadways open in northwest Wyoming; Memorial Day rockfall posed challenges for maintenance workers

Moisture-related rockfall impacted northwest Wyoming highways Monday, but all roadways are open Tuesday morning.

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Falling rock advisories remain in effect on all mountain highways in northwest Wyoming on Tuesday morning, including Wind River Canyon (US20/WY789), west of Cody (US14/16/20), east of Ten Sleep (US16), east of Greybull (US14), east of Lovell (US14A), and northwest of Cody (WY296).

Heavy rains and snow Monday led to rockslides west of Cody and east of Ten Sleep.

Maintenance crews responded west of Cody Monday evening near Buffalo Bill Reservoir.

The rockslide near Buffalo Bill Reservoir occurred in an area where fencing was installed last year to catch future rockfall. Monday’s slide damaged the fencing west of the tunnels, but according to WYDOT Cody maintenance foreman Jim Berry, “the fencing did its job.”

“Without the fencing, the rockfall would have impacted/closed the roadway for a longer period of time,” Berry said.

On U.S. 16, east of Ten Sleep, some rocks had fallen on the road by Monday afternoon. But about 5:15 p.m. Monday, more rocks dropped on the highway about 6 1/2 miles east of Ten Sleep and closed the roadway.

WYDOT Ten Sleep maintenance foreman Matt Jones first responded with a plow truck, then with a loader, to clear rocks “from the size of softballs and basketballs to the size of a half-ton pickup truck.”

WYDOT workers also removed smaller rocks from the highway inside Wind River Canyon between Thermopolis and Boysen Reservoir, all night Monday, as well as other areas, including Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.

Motorists are encouraged to monitor road conditions at wyoroad.info.

Photos: WYDOT 

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