May 4, 2017 - From staff reportsThe Wind River Canyon was closed for about 90 minutes again this week after a rock slide destroyed about 100 feet of guardrail.
The debris covered both driving lanes at the north end of the canyon and damaged the highway shoulder too, Wyoming Department of Transportation area maintenance supervisor Clint Huckfeldt of Thermopolis said.
WYDOT personnel reopened the canyon about 1 a.m. Wednesday.
WYDOT workers transported concrete barriers from Rock Springs to the Lander area Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for spring floods.
The barriers will be part of a wall going up along Fremont Street in Lander. Officials hope the barrier will divert flood waters away from local roadways and back into area streams.
Initially, Lander fire administrator Nick Hudson said, the city planned to start constructing the barrier in mid-May, but because rising temperatures are forecast to activate flooding before then, officials began working with the Wind River Job Corps on the project Tuesday.
Lander streets department director Lance Hopkin said the barrier will run from Fifth Street back to the river along Fremont Street. It will remain in place through flood season.
A reduced speed limit is in place at two Togwotee Pass-area slides near the Shoshone National Forest boundary west of Dubois.
WYDOT geologists are monitoring, analyzing and mapping the slides, which have been patched but continue to move.
Another slide is located about 10 miles east of Moran Junction on Togwotee Pass. Officials said the large slope failure slide continues to creep on to the highway. Maintenance crews are working to clean the slide area while also monitoring the movement.
Huckfeldt encouraged motorists to monitor road conditions by visitingwyoroad.infoor calling 511.
"Please drive safely and buckle up," Huckfeldt said.
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