Six miles of Highway 59 near Wright are slated to be widened this spring in an effort to alleviate congestion and help ease traffic flow onto two busy arterial highways. The Wyoming Transportation Commission (WTC) awarded $14.6 million for the project, which includes adding two additional north and southbound lanes as well as a center turning lane along the stretch of highway between mile markers 71 and 77, north of Wright.
“There’s quite a bit of traffic congestion in that area,” said John Leahy, resident engineer out of the Newcastle Wyoming Department of Transportation office, in reference to the turnoffs from HWY 59 onto HWY 387 toward Casper and HWY 450 into Weston County.
Expanding from two to five lanes along this section will help clear quite a bit of congestion near Wright, he noted.
The two additional lanes will each be 12-feet wide with a 11-foot turning lane in the middle.
“With the Town of Wright being right there, it really is a strategic location to do this work,” he said.
Riverside Contracting out of Missoula, Montana, was awarded the contract. The project is tentatively scheduled to begin in spring and expected to be finished in late summer/early fall of 2020.
Leahy doesn’t anticipate significant delays during the construction phase.
“There will be lowered speed limits,” he said, “but we have limited the contractor to keeping head-to-head traffic, and there should be plenty of room for them to shift the traffic lanes to one side or another to keep things moving.”
In total, WTC awarded $31.7 million this October for seven additional contracts, according to an Oct. 25 press release. Other projects include repairs along 16 miles along I-25 between Casper and Kaycee, a 10-mile stretch along HWY 230 near Woods Landing in Albany County, and resurface work on I-80 in Telephone Canyon between Laramie and Cheyenne among others.