After hearing concerns from the public and local advocates, the Wyoming Department of Transportation installed a new semitrailer warning sign west of Woods Landing on Wyoming Highway 230.
The sign, installed July 23, is located on the top of Woods Creek Canyon and warns semitrailer drivers about the 6-mile stretch of the highway full of steep grades and sharp curves.
Two semitrailers crashed on that section of Highway 230 earlier this spring, killing one driver and spilling about 120 barrels of oil- and gas-produced water and up to 150 gallons of diesel fuel into nearby Woods Creek. The creek feeds into the Laramie River, which provides about 50% of the city’s drinking water.
Area residents told the Laramie Boomerang earlier this spring that although signs in the area warn drivers to slow down from 70 mph to 40 mph around the curves, drivers would rarely heed the warning.
The sign was installed after WYDOT district and Wyoming Highway Patrol officials met with residents and local clean water advocate groups in June, including the Albany County Clean Water Advocates and the Powder River Basin Resource Council.
The residents and advocates expressed concerns about the increase in semitrailer traffic and speeding on the highway, especially after the two crashes.
“We always take public comment into consideration,” WYDOT spokesman Matt Murphy said. “We look at the data that we have, and based on those things, if it’s warranted for us to make changes — for example, like with the sign on (Highway) 230 — then we’ll do that.”
The news release added the WHP also increased enforcement on the highway and “is planning further commercial vehicle enforcement on that corridor.”
In addition to the new sign, WYDOT also plans to install chevron signs along the curves of the highway later this summer as part of a larger, statewide project.
WYDOT District Engineer Tom Dehoff said in the news release WYDOT encourages “the public to share their concerns with us” to help enact any change warranted by data.
Murphy added residents can contact WYDOT with concerns in a variety of ways, from phone calls to social media. Contact information can be found on the WYDOT at www.dot.state.wy.us/ContactWYDOT.