Update on Snake River Canyon Bridge-Hoback Roundabout project
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
June 26, 2011
JACKSON, WYOMING ¨-The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) put its highway and bridge work at Hoback Junction on hold due to an unusually wet spring and high water on the Snake River.
As soon as the weather improves, construction materials dry out and river levels permit, WYDOT crews will resume work on the large-scale project, which began in June 2010.
The Snake River Bridge/Hoback Junction project has several phases. This summer, a new bridge will be built, and the "Y" intersection known as Hoback Junction of Highways 26/89 and 189/191 will be converted into a traffic roundabout.
In the summer of 2012, the old, existing bridge will be torn down. In addition, crews will complete a landslide stabilization project during the summer and fall of 2012, with the goal of wrapping up the entire project by the end of October 2012.
When work on the Hoback Junction project gets into full swing again, the impact on drivers should be minimal. During construction of a large retaining wall on the project, traffic may at times be limited to alternating one-way travel.
Thanks to a detour that will be created around the site of the Hoback Junction roundabout construction, motorists should expect no more than an occasional minor delay. When the new bridge is complete, the old one will be closed and traffic diverted to the new one.
"It will be like flipping a switch," said Don Lawless, WYDOT project engineer for the Hoback reconstruction project.
During this summer, river users are advised that they will be unable to float some parts of the Snake when construction crews are building the new bridge south of the old one. For safety reasons, WYDOT canít have anyone on the river below the construction site when huge pieces of steel are being moved around.
WYDOT will make every effort to let boaters and rafters know when it is safe to travel that portion of the Snake. Through approximately the end of October, WYDOT'S 511 text and email notification system will provide information on the projects.
Other WYDOT work in the area includes repair work to a part of Highway 189/191 north of Hoback Junction that sunk as a result of a slow-moving landslide beneath the roadway. Dirt work to the side of the highway is for the eventual additional highway lane that is being built as part of the project.
When river restrictions are in place, WYDOT personnel will be posted upstream, at points on the Snake where boaters can easily pull out, to alert people that the river is closed ahead.
Construction crews may work weekends and odd hours on weekdays as needed, so posting schedules in advance wonít always be possible, Lawless said.