WYDOT starts work to bring hundreds of parking spaces to an interstate that truckers hate

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) announced that work will begin this week on a multi-year project to increase truck parking along an interstate that is frequently closed due to weather.

On October 20, WYDOT announced that work will begin on the “I-80 Winter Freight Project” this week.

The $20 million project is scheduled to be completed in October 2022.

“If weather conditions are poor or I-80 is closed, the new truck parking will provide additional options for truck drivers to park safely while they wait for conditions to improve,” said Tim Morton, District 1 Construction engineer.

The project will add almost 100 new truck parking spaces to the Fort Steele Rest Area about 7 miles east of Sinclair (on I-80 at mile marker 228) and to the at the Quealy Dome truck parking area 20 miles west of Laramie (on I-80 at mile marker 290).

The Fort Steele Rest Area was one of 10 rest areas closed statewide in June as part of an effort to cut costs. The rest area will remain closed until the project is completed, at which time it will reopen for public use. Truckers are asked to avoid parking on the on- and off-ramps of the interstate as it will slow construction.

WYDOT is also at work adding truck climbing lanes to semitruck climbing lanes to a 2 mile stretch of I-80 eastbound over Halleck Ridge (about 8 miles west of Elk Mountain, between mm 250.5-252.5) and about 2 miles of I-80 westbound between Cooper Cove and Quealy Dome (mm 279.5-281.5) near the Albany County line.

“Climbing lanes help with traffic flow, especially on inclines with steep grades,” Morton said. “They also help prevent secondary crashes when I-80 reopens after an extended road closure.”

WYDOT says drivers should experience only minimal traffic impacts during the project.