WYDOT wins national environmental award for Snake River Bridge project

May 19, 2022

Rock Springs, Wyo.  The Wyoming Department of Transportation has been awarded a 2022 Environmental Excellence Award (EEA) in the category of Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for their efforts on the Snake River Bridge reconstruction and wildlife crossing integration project.  The award is one of 14 conferred nationwide in a variety of environmental categories.  WYDOT, along with their partners from the Wyoming Game and Fish, Teton County and other community organizations, designed a project for the replacement of a critical bridge on Wyoming Highway 22 over the Snake River, near Jackson, and expanded it to accommodate local and migrating wildlife within the Greater Yellowstone National Park ecosystem.

 When planning the bridge replacement, WYDOT proactively pursued stakeholder and community outreach to shape and expand the project to strategically address a diverse set of challenges, including wildlife-vehicle collisions and congestion. The project will extend the Snake River Bridge to accommodate a wildlife underpass and will include three additional wildlife crossings that will facilitate safer wildlife movements, especially for large animals such as moose, elk, and deer.  As a result, FHWA cited “WYDOT’s exemplary achievement” and “extensive stakeholder collaboration, community engagement, and environmental considerations” in conferring the award.

WYDOT also is implementing additional improvements that will enhance recreation and natural resource education in the nearby Rendezvous Park with work that will include increasing wetlands along ponds, constructing a boardwalk, and deepening a community swimming hole.  The purpose of the improvements was to support positive public interaction with the natural environment while addressing the needs of the ecosystem.

“We appreciate the recognition and affirmation from the FHWA that this is a special project that will benefit not just the transportation of motorists but of wildlife, too,” said WYDOT director Luke Reiner. “I am grateful to our partners who were instrumental in shaping this project into an award-winning success.”

The Snake River Bridge project will be let to contract this fall and construction could take place as early as spring of 2023.

Since 1995, the Environmental Excellence Awards have been recognizing leaders across the country whose outstanding contributions to environmental stewardship and partnerships that go above and beyond traditional transportation project outcomes.

2022 EEA Snake River_photo.jpg