Forced Closure Of Teton Pass Due To Large Cracks Stretching Across Entire Road

Large cracks that stretched across the entire highway creating an 8-inch shelf in the road on Teton Pass forced its closure for a few hours on Thursday. Although it's reopened, WYDOT is assessing the damage and potential danger created by it.

AR
Andrew Rossi

June 06, 20243 min read

Large cracks appeared on Wyoming Highway 22 over Teton Pass on Thursday, prompting it to close for several hours.
Large cracks appeared on Wyoming Highway 22 over Teton Pass on Thursday, prompting it to close for several hours. (WYDOT Teton County via Facebook)

The Wyoming Department of Transportation temporarily closed Wyoming Highway 22 over Teton Pass on Thursday after a large crack appeared around milepost 12.

Teton Pass reopened around 2:19 p.m. after WYDOT maintenance crews patched the pavement enough for traffic to resume safely, but it was still too early to determine the severity of the damage or a long-term solution for the popular stretch of road for summer tourism to Norwest Wyoming.

"The area will continue to be under observation," Stephanie Harsha, Public Involvement Specialist for WYDOT District 3, told Cowboy State Daily. "Our crews will continue to patch it and keep it open as much as possible, but if driving conditions become unsafe at any point, they will close it again."

Cracked And Slipped

WYDOT closed Teton Pass at 11 a.m. Thursday. The significant crack in the road stretched across both lanes and dropped as much as 8 inches, forming a shelf that made driving dangerous.

"Our geology crews are headed that way," Harsha said. "They'll evaluate that area and recommend a more permanent fix."

Harsha said WYDOT will close Teton Pass again if there are any hazards to commuters. In the meantime, any traffic restrictions on the highway should be minimal.

"They're currently working out the traffic control as we speak," she said. "The more severe areas are going to be restricted by barrels. But as far as I know, it should allow one lane in each direction."

Harsha said it was too early to speculate about a long-term solution. Once WYDOT's geologists assess the situation, they'll recommend a solution for the department to implement.

"We're going to rely on our geology and engineering team to come up with a solution," she said. "It'll depend on how severe that damage and how much and how quickly that area is moving. We're just waiting to see what comes from the evaluation."

Fast, Reliable Information

Temporary road closures are a winter hallmark in Wyoming, but summer isn't immune from sudden and prolonged closures on the state’s busiest thoroughfares. Harsha encouraged commuters who use Teton Pass, a vital route between Wyoming and Idaho, to use WYDOT's 511 app to get real-time updates on any future closures or delays.

"Sign up for 511 Alerts, and then sign up for Teton Pass," she said. "Anytime that section of roadway is closed or there are any restrictions, they'll get a text notification. That's the best and fastest way to get information on that area."

Andrew Rossi can be reached at arossi@cowboystatedaily.com.

Share this article

Authors

AR

Andrew Rossi

Features Reporter

Andrew Rossi is a features reporter for Cowboy State Daily based in northwest Wyoming. He covers everything from horrible weather and giant pumpkins to dinosaurs, astronomy, and the eccentricities of Yellowstone National Park.