WYDOT Authorized Travel (WAT) permission pre-approval available
Program for pre-approval permission to travel on closed roads
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
September 12, 2011
During the upcoming cold-weather season, roads may be temporarily closed during strong storms due to inclement weather or other reasons. However, in certain situations, motorists can still legally travel on an otherwise closed road, under terms of the "WYDOT Authorized Travel" (WAT) program.
Most road closures during winter storms result from hazardous pavement conditions or limited visibility. Sometimes, closures are prompted by crash wreckage blocking the roadway, or even a traffic jam resulting from bad weather a considerable distance away.
Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and the Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) have authority, through the use of WAT, to allow local travel on the passable portion of a closed road. More details about WAT are available on the 511 Travel Information Web page (www.wyoroad.info).
WAT provides a means for motorists to pre-apply for permission to travel beyond closure points on a specified road section (or sections). Applicants must specify one or more road sections in their request and must also provide a reason for travel.
When a closure occurs, motorists who are already pre-approved for WAT will receive a notification, via email and/or text message, informing them of which roadway sections are authorized for travel. Pre-approval in itself does not mean the motorist can travel the road any time it is closed. Instead, authorizations are issued on an event-by-event basis and are valid only for the specific sections listed in the notification.
Motorists still have the option of seeking permission to travel locally on a closed road from a state trooper who may be at the road closure gate. But if no trooper is present, the motorist cannot proceed, unless they have contacted WHP dispatch via telephone and been granted permission to travel past the gate.
During a majority of road closures, no local travel will be authorized, and motorist should be aware that previous approval through WAT does not give them blanket authorization to drive on a closed road.
Violators of Wyoming’s road closure law are subject to a fine of up to $750 and/or jail time.
All pre-approvals for WYDOT Authorized Travel expire each summer and motorists will need to re-apply for the subsequent cold-weather season.