The Upper Wind River Campground located just below Boysen Reservoir, and Highway 20 is being impacted by a landslide. Last year, State Parks completed landside work upstream of this same area.
Because of this, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) received a request from the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) for a permit that’ll allow a contractor to place sheet piling in the river to temporarily dewater the area and allow the placement of larges rocks along the edge of the river to prevent the hillside from eroding in the future. This process is known as bank armoring and will help prevent the highway from sliding toward the river.
The remainder of the project includes landslide and rockfall mitigation in the area of the three tunnels to Thermopolis that were caused by the 2015 flooding, including placement of holes that catch mud, and rocks, and prevent them from entering the highway. Those holes are called “catchment basins” and will be continually cleaned when full.
This project will help stabilize landslides and the active erosion that is occurring on the right bank of the Wind River.
In order to be approved the WDEQ is working to certify that the activity will be in compliance with service water quality standards. The project also will need approval from agencies such as the Wind River Intertribal Council and Bureau of Indian Affairs to be able to start this project work in 2021.
This project is not located on the Wind River Reservation and is scheduled in January for bid letting. The project will result in a permanent loss of 0.063 acres of wetland. The project also includes the construction of an approximate 0.2-acre floodplain bench that will be planted with native riparian and wetland vegetation.