Highway improvements appear to be forgotten

On November 28, there was another report in the Boomerang of a head-on collision on U.S. 287 south of Laramie resulting in a death. Memory seems to be short. Historically there were so many head-on collision deaths on that highway in the 1990s and early 2000s, including the 2001 deaths of our son with the eight UW Cross Country team members in 2001, that it was described as the treacherous “Highway of Death” by many including Sports Illustrated (November 2001) and on Dateline NBC (May 2002).

After a lot of discussions and a comprehensive WYDOT study that recommended that the highway should be modified to 4-lane divided to prevent such deaths, the Wyoming Highway Commission and WYDOT agreed to re-building the entire stretch of highway from the Colorado border to Laramie into a four-lane divided design. This would be done in a series of 5-6 mile sections until the project was completed. Construction finally began in 2009 with the first stretch, near Tie Siding. Then there was none of the promised continuation during 2010-2013. Finally in 2014 the Pumpkin Vine section from the Colorado border to the widened Tie Siding section was built.

Then suddenly the issue seems to have been forgotten. The promised sections between Laramie and the Tie Siding section have yet to be modified. The result is that in the narrow two-lane stretch, if for any reason one vehicle drifts out of its lane, such as slipping on ice, there is a high risk of death if there are any oncoming vehicles. Such deaths are completely preventable, if WYDOT would only complete the promised modifications. I sincerely hope that we can get some indication when the construction will resume and be completed. Possibly our new governor (WYDOT reports to him) can act, and congressional delegation members in Cheyenne will hold discussions, or if necessary introduce a bill to get his moving forward again!

John Schabron, Laramie

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