Teton Pass update: Crews moving 'mountains' of dirt to construct detour through landslide region

Crews continued their work this weekend on a new detour route on the Teton Pass, in Wyoming, following a landslide June 8.

Crews continued their work this weekend on a new detour route on the Teton Pass, in Wyoming, following a landslide June 8. (Wyoming Department of Transportation)

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JACKSON, Wyo. — Crews from Wyoming Department of Transportation and Evans Construction are making significant progress on an ambitious plan to reconnect two lanes of Wyoming State Highway 22 following the massive Teton Pass landslide on June 8.

Workers have been packing dirt around the clock in an effort to safely and efficiently build a new interim road and reconnect one of the region's most-used mountain thoroughfares.

According to the Wyoming Department of Transportation, its "geologists and engineers are confident they can build a safe, temporary detour around the slide area using local fill material and paving two temporary lanes. They are hoping to have a temporary detour open to the public, likely with some strict weight and width restrictions, in a few weeks."

"I want to express my gratitude to WYDOT Director Westby and his entire team for their efforts to rapidly develop and implement a plan to get traffic moving over Teton Pass again as quickly as possible," Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said in a WYDOT Facebook post last week.

Gordon issued an emergency declaration following the disaster that allowed the state to tap into Federal Highway Administration resources in order to fund the project.

Crews are also constructing a box culvert at milepost 15 where a major mudslide occurred on June 7 to provide additional drainage.

Plans to fully rebuild the road at milepost 12.8 for the long-term are still being developed, and officials have not issued a timeline for that phase of the project.

"WYDOT will be flying the area with a survey plane and doing some geological drilling in preparation for the reconstruction," the department posted.

"WYDOT's response through this crisis demonstrates the commitment, passion and ingenuity of our crews," said WYDOT Director Darin Westby on Facebook. "We certainly want to thank ​the Governor, the Federal Highway Administration, the Idaho Transportation Department, the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, Evans Construction and the U.S. Forest Service​ for their quick response, teamwork and dependability in our time of need."

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David Pace


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