Wyoming to Replace Aging Twin Bridges Over I-80
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Truckers traveling in Wyoming over Interstate 80, which sees the most truck traffic there, will be able to drive over two new bridges to be built mostly with a new Federal Railroad Administration grant.
“We appreciate FRA’s approval of our project and grant request,” said Keith Fulton, assistant chief engineer of engineering and planning at the Wyoming Department of Transportation, who recently announced the grant capture.
FRA will pay for 80% of the $18 million project to replace two bridges on the east- and westbound I-80 (11 miles west of Cheyenne) that cross over the Union Pacific Railroad. WDOT will provide the remaining funds.
“This project will help to improve safety for both the railroad and the traveling public.” Fulton noted.
Connecting the West Coast with the Midwest, I-80 is one of the state’s 13 key freight corridors because it experiences the highest volume of truck traffic volume (from 5,000 to 10,000 daily) by providing access to major freight generators and population centers.
Key freight corridors in Wyoming. (Wyoming Department of Transportation)
Among the three interstates (including I-90 and I-25) crossing through Wyoming, I-80 between Green River and Rock Springs carries the highest traffic volume within the state (23,000 vehicles daily) compared to 20,000 vehicles passing through Cheyenne daily, according to state 2019 statistics.
Built in the late 1950s, the I-80 bridges have been rehabilitated until WYDOT began to apply for federal funds in January 2021 after determining the structures met replacement criteria.
FRA dollars will come from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement’s Special Transportation Circumstances Program for states lacking inner-city passenger rail service.
WYDOT officials thanked the state’s congressional delegation for its efforts to help the state secure this funding.
Noting the project could take up to five years to finish after a project agreement is finalized, WYDOT stated it will now focus on developing a work plan, budget and schedule.
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