District 2 Snow Plan helps keep roads clear and safe
CASPER – Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) personnel based in Casper follow their annual snow plan to keep area highways passable and safe. WYDOT’s snow removal plan establishes winter maintenance priorities and designates levels of service for routes based on a number of factors including traffic volumes and roadway use requirements.
During severe storms, scheduling depends on available personnel and equipment. Highways designated for high-volume service will be plowed first, with roads in other classifications handled as soon as possible thereafter. Changing weather and road conditions may require shifting resources from lower-priority roads to achieve the desired level of service on higher-volume highways. Each operator/vehicle combination has responsibility for plowing and sanding operations to keep roadways suitable for driving at reasonable speeds. With plow speeds averaging 35 mph, in a 10-hour shift each operator may drive 300 miles or more in the worst of winter conditions. In addition to their snow removal activities, snow plow drivers are usually the first on the scene of a crash, providing assistance as needed and contacting a towing service (through WYDOT’s Transportation Management Center).
If a significant storm is moving into the area, the 20-person Casper maintenance crew will be split into two 10-person shifts, doubling the workload to maintain service on over 640 lane miles of roads around Casper. Each split-shift operator/vehicle combination has responsibility for plowing and sanding an average of 32 lane miles (with a normal crew) to keep roadways suitable for driving at reasonable speeds. There are 12 snow plows serving the greater Casper area.
Up to 20 hours daily of high-volume service is provided on Interstate 25 from the Curtis Street Interchange through the top of the Shoshoni (WY20/26) bypass interchange. This will normally be accomplished with multiple trucks working in unison so that snow can be moved from the inside shoulder across both travelways to the outside shoulder. Motorists should be aware that during plow operations, traffic is likely to be slower and more congested in these areas.
North of Casper, plows will work on I-25 to the Horse Ranch Creek Interchange junction with WY 259. At the same time, I-25 east/south of Casper is plowed to the West Glenrock Interchange. The old Glenrock Highway (US 20/26/87) is then plowed after service is attained on I-25.
Up to 16 hours of medium-volume service is provided to most urban routes and US 20/26 and WY 220. Units will be assigned to the Casper urban area, Wyoming Boulevard and also to plow and sand the I-25 interchanges and service roads. US-20/26 is plowed west to Waltman. South of Casper, snow removal on Wyoming Boulevard (WY 258) starts just west of 15th Street and stops just before Casper Mountain Road (WY 251). On WY 220, plowing begins at Robertson Road and continues past Alcova to Pathfinder Hill.
Routes carrying relatively low volumes of traffic will generally be serviced after high-volume and medium-volume routes have been cleared, with possible exceptions made for school buses or similar traffic. Low-volume routes are Casper Mountain Road (WY 251), Salt Creek Highway (WY 254), Garden Creek Road (WY 252), Cole Creek Road (WY 256) and Hat Six Road (WY 253). Operations on Casper Mountain Road and Garden Creek Road will be aided by a motor grader when necessary. Casper Mountain Road is a single-shift, daylight-only operation.
As storms abate, cleanup operations are undertaken only after all roads have been provided with their designated levels of service. Cleanup generally consists of removing plowed snow from interchanges and snow ridges along road shoulders to provide room for future snow storage.
CASPER SNOW PLAN AT A GLANCE
Highways designated for high-volume service will be plowed first, with roads in other classifications handled as soon as possible thereafter. Changing weather and road conditions may require shifting resources from lower-priority roads to achieve the desired level of service on higher-volume highways.
Up to 20 hours daily of high-volume service is provided on Interstate 25.
Up to 16 hours daily of medium-volume service is provided on US 20/26 Casper-Waltman, WY 220 Casper-Alcova, WY 258 (Wyoming Boulevard) and US 20/26/87 Casper-Glenrock.
The following roads are plowed once higher-level roads have been serviced:
Casper Mountain Road (single-shift, daylight hours only) (WY 251)
Salt Creek Highway (WY 254)
Garden Creek Road (WY 252)
Cole Creek Road (WY 256)
Hat Six Road (WY 253)
I-25 Service Road, Wardwell-Horse Ranch Creek Interchange
Other Service Roads as resources become available
For District 2 Snow Plan releases for other cities within the district, or to obtain a copy of this press release, contact Jeff Goetz, District 2 public involvement specialist, at (307) 473-3303.