Governmental agencies and elected officials are still working to determine the best way to get construction materials and equipment to the site of a future wind farm without putting unnecessary wear and tear on the roads within Albany and Carbon counties.
The wind farm is planned roughly 10 miles north of Rock River and 15 miles east of Medicine Bow.
Albany County Commission Chairman Tim Chesnut said the Wyoming Department of Transportation was trying avoid having materials for the wind turbine facility being transported through the city of Laramie. WYDOT suggested a possible alternative route to the construction site without going through the city using Interstate 80.
“In the meeting, it was portrayed that WYDOT would like them to not go through Laramie,” Chesnut said. “They wanted them to be routed down I-80 to Arlington, then take the McFadden Road — which comes out just north of Rock River — then to the project.”
Albany County representatives added to the material transporting conversation, and tried to inform the other entities of a rail spur in Laramie that could transport materials to Laramie and have them driven from there to the construction site, he said.
“We brought up that we have a rail spur in Laramie and (we were asked) if we were going to be requiring them to come through there,” Chesnut said. “We are not requiring it, we were just informing the Boswell Springs people that we have a rail spur in Laramie and if it was something they were open to, we have a rail spur and a staging area where they could bring their equipment in to be off-loaded.”
WYDOT public relations specialist Matt Murphy said the department and Alterra — the company that owns the project — would require a road use agreement to decide how infrastructure for the project would be delivered before construction on the project begins.
“I think there are some roads that could be included or affected (by the road use agreement) but that will be something that takes place between us and the company,” Murphy said. “Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 30 and 287, Wyoming highways 13, 34, 487 and 220, those are roads that could be affected for what the company could plan.”
When the department is discussing a road use agreement for a project such as the Boswell Springs project, they look into how the construction would affect traffic, he said.
“(We are mostly looking for) they amount and the type of traffic that would be generated as far as construction and that sort of thing,” Murphy said. “How that traffic would affect our road system, so we might have a recommended or preferred route that the company uses to get to their site.”