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Snake River Bridge Project in final phase of public meetings

The final public meeting for the upcoming Snake River Bridge Project was held Thursday night. Bob Hammond, WYDOT resident engineer, conducted the meeting. 

The intersection of Highway 22 and Highway 390 outside of Wilson will be overhauled to improve safety and traffic flow. The bridge over the Snake River will also be replaced. This intersection is a critical route for emergency vehicles and sees a high traffic volume according to the WYDOT.

The project goes to bid in November of this year with the expectation to hire a contractor shortly after. Construction will begin in January 2023 at the earliest. The intersection and bridge will be completed in phases, tentatively finishing in 2025. Hammond said there will be no detours and two lanes of traffic, as well as the pedestrian pathway, will be open throughout he project. The overall cost of the intersection reconstruction and bridge replacement is estimated at $25 million.

The current bridge was constructed in 1960, and one of the main goals of replacing it will be to bring the structure up to modern building standards. It is also very narrow, so the new bridge will include more shoulder room for emergencies.

Other considerations come from stakeholders such as the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. To reduce wildlife and vehicle collisions, fencing with jumpouts, or exits, will surround the intersection. Additionally, three underpasses will be included for wildlife to safely cross at. 

Replacing a bridge is no small feat, and the the project will have other constraints besides the normal Wyoming weather. To maintain traffic flow, the new bridge itself will be constructed in two parts. There also can be no construction over the Snake River from March 15 to Aug. 1 due to high water and spawning season.

The public can view the proposal through Jan. 10 at the virtual meeting room.

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