ROCK SPRINGS — The Wyoming Department of Transportation and contract crews from Reiman & High Country Construction will begin preliminary work this spring on the new Interchange (Gookin) bridge, interchange and connector to Blairtown Road in Rock Springs near the Water Reclamation Facility. Crews are mobilizing equipment in the area and could begin work as early as next month.
The Interchange overpass bridge connects the Sunset Drive service road and Foothill Blvd. service road over Interstate 80. The bridge has been closed to traffic since April of 2014 when it was struck by a truck carrying an excavator on the interstate.
WYDOT received a $14 million federal Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant to construct a new interchange and reconstruct and expand Interchange Road from Foothill Blvd. south to Blairtown Road. The $14 million grant WYDOT received is part of the $1.5 billion INFRA grant program, which is part of the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. Although WYDOT will receive $14 million, the total cost of the project is just under $30 million.
WYDOT is partnering with the city of Rock Springs, as well as Sweetwater County to complete the project.
WYDOT and the city of Rock Springs hope the new project will improve traffic flow and provide a direct connection from Interstate 80 to an intermodal industrial park that provides energy-related services.
The project includes replacing an existing bridge over the interstate to provide a higher vertical clearance, constructing eastbound and westbound ramps with continuous acceleration/deceleration lanes to Dewar Drive and building a new overpass structure over the Union Pacific Railroad for access to the industrial park.
With I-80 being a major freight network, the new interchange will help improve movement of freight within the state and nationally, helping to diversify the economy in this part of the state. It can also help entice future growth in the industrial area by offering direct access to the interstate.
The completion date for this project is set for June 30, 2023.
Rock Springs Mayor Timothy A. Kaumo stated that this project will not only improve the ability to develop lands near this interchange but will improve existing safety concerns of large truck traffic traveling through residential neighborhoods by connecting Blairtown Road to the Interstate 80 corridor.
“We appreciate our partnership with WYDOT, Sweetwater County and the INFRA program, this bridge has been closed for many years and unavailable to our residents and visitors. Replacing this infrastructure is critical to our community and the addition of access on and off of Interstate 80 will help our community to grow and become more successful,” Mayor Kaumo added.
WYDOT would like to remind drivers to slow down in work zones, be alert and cautious of roadside workers and obey all traffic control devices. For more information on road construction, closures and weather conditions, please visit http://www.wyoroad.info.