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Snowy Range Road

Snowy Range Road Reopens Ahead of Schedule

in News/Transportation
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You know it’s close to Memorial Day when Snowy Range road (Wyoming Highway 130) finally opens up, and true to schedule, the road was reopened this year on Monday.

The 68-mile-pass, which is only open for a few months each year, gets clobbered by snow during the offseason. It still could be inundated with snow at some point this year. After all, some parts of the road have elevations of more than 10,800 feet.

Last year, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) told Cowboy State Daily reporter Ike Fredregill that despite the warmer weather, motorists need to exercise caution.

“It is still May and we are high up in Wyoming, so it can always get a little icy, particularly in the mornings and evenings, when it’s out of the sun,” the WYDOT spokesman said. “So we always tell people to watch out for some slush and some slick spots until it can really get melted down later in the season.”

Cowboy State Daily videographer Mike McCrimmon joined a heavy equipment operator last year during the annual clearing.

He told McCrimmon that with 15-plus foot drifts on the road common, breakdowns occur and that’s why the two crews travel with a full-time mechanic.

“It’s easier to have a mechanic up here with us so they can fix problems right away instead of someone having to drive up from Laramie,” he said.

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WYDOT crews work to clear Snowy Range Road

in News/Transportation
1391

Crews from the Wyoming Department of Transportation are working this week to clear the Snowy Range Road between Laramie and Saratoga of snow drifts reaching more than 6 feet in depth.

Crews from Laramie and Saratoga are trying to clear all snow off of the 68-mile stretch of Wyoming Highway 130 before the Memorial Day holiday, an effort that usually begins in mid-April, said WYDOT spokesman Matt Murphy.

“A lot of them (crew members) really enjoy it,” Murphy said. “They take pride in their work.”

Using bulldozers, rotary plows and snowplows, the crews will work to remove all the snow from the highway that provides a scenic link between Laramie and Saratoga.

“It’s very beautiful, it’s kind of one of our more hidden gems in Wyoming,” Murphy said of the highway. “It’s a really scenic highway and there’s just a lot of recreation opportunities.”

The road closes every year for the winter — last year, it closed on Nov. 6 — and then reopens for summer travel, usually by or near Memorial Day.

Murphy reminded drivers that even though the highway may be open by Memorial Day, slush and water can still find their way onto the road as snow along the highway continues to melt, creating icy patches at times.

“It is still May and we are high up in Wyoming, so it can always get a little icy, particularly in the mornings and evenings, when it’s out of the sun,” he said. “So we always tell people to watch out for some slush and some slick spots until it can really get melted down later in the season.”

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