August 7, 2020
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The Wyoming Department of Transportation recently updated and expanded the specific types of road closures listed on its WYDOT 511 website in order to provide the travelling public with more “clarity” when such closures are initiated – especially in winter.

[Above photo by the Wyoming DOT.]

“We wanted to clarify some of our closures to avoid any confusion and to give the public more information when we have a certain closure,” said Stephanie Harsha, public relations specialist for Wyoming DOT District 3, in a statement. “These definitions will be available on our 511 website so motorists can not only learn a road is closed due to certain conditions but also learn why the road is closed.”

Photo by the Wyoming DOT

One of the new definitions is “rolling closures” to address the limited resources in terms of parking, fuel, hotel rooms, and other amenities of small towns along Interstate 80.

When a town is at capacity, which can happen during a long-duration closure, the closure will be rolled back to the next town to avoid stranding travelers in a location without adequate services, the Wyoming DOT said – and the road may be open in the direction leading away from the affected area.

Two other new road closure terms are “local traffic only” and “partial closure.” For the local traffic only closure, a section of road is only open to commuters and local residents but closed to through traffic, the agency said.

Photo by the Wyoming DOT

Meanwhile, for a partial closure, a road is closed to some vehicles but not all. “This type of closure can include no trailer traffic, closure to light high-profile vehicles, and may only permit local traffic,” Harsha added.

A partial closure can also impact one lane of travel but not the other, she said. For example, a section of road on Interstate 80 could be closed to eastbound traffic but open to westbound traffic because the incident isn’t impacting the westbound lane of travel.

editor@aashto.org

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