The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) will begin adding weight restrictions to wind warnings on I-80 and other blow over ‘hot spots’ according to a statement issued last week.
On October 27, WYDOT announced that this winter, the agency will use updated weight-based wind closure messaging for light, high-profile vehicles across the state, including sections of I-80, I-25 and Wyoming Highway 28 where the state sees blow over hot spots.
The weight-based messaging was used for the first time last Wednesday WYO 28, South Pass, and on I-80 on Thursday.
The weight-based messaging will also be available on WYDOT’s 511 tools, including the 511 map.
“WYDOT will monitor current and forecasted wind speeds, along with road geometry, to determine how heavy a commercial vehicle or other trailer would need to be to avoid the extreme blow over risk and will update that messaging in real time. Even so, drivers are encouraged to use their best judgement when traveling on windy days,” WYDOT said in a news release.
WYDOT says that the new weight-based warnings will only be implemented in areas with adequate signage. Otherwise, messaging will continue to show “Extreme Blow Over Risk.”
The new weight-based messaging is made possible following recent research from the University of Wyoming.
“Unfortunately, some of the areas we see the strongest crosswinds are also highways that carry important goods and services,” WYDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems program manager Vince Garcia said. “Our goal with this updated messaging is to facilitate as much movement as possible while keeping motorists safe.”
“When in doubt, wait it out,” Garcia recommended.
WYDOT first started messaging “Closed to Light, High Profile Vehicles” during high wind events in 2011.
You can see video of a major blow over that was captured near Cheyenne in December 2021 and shared by WYDOT.