WYDOT To Close 10 Rest Stops Due To Budget Shortfall
The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is closing 10 rest stops in the state in order to save money. The department's revenue is greatly impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a drop in fuel tax revenue, as well as overall underfunding.
"We took a hard look at all of our rest areas and came up with a list of those that we feel we can close with a minimal amount of impact to our travelers," said WYDOT Director Luke Reiner. "It was a hard decision but one that we came to based on the needs of the public and to ensure we maintain a balanced budget."
The rest stops include: Lusk on US 18; Guernsey on US 26; Greybull on US 14-16-20; Moorcroft on Interstate 90; Star Valley on US 89; Ft. Steele on Interstate 80; Sundance on Interstate 90; Upton on US 16; and Orin Junction and Chugwater, both located on Interstate 25. Reiner said travelers should use facilities in nearby communities as an alternative.
The rest stops will close on June 15 and remain closed until the budget can allow for the reopening, according to WYDOT Public Affairs Specialist Doug McGee.
Between now and the end of September, the department expects it will save $197,453. It is expecting to save $789,812 in the next year.
In a press release, Gov. Mark Gordon expressed his concerns about the state's budget.
"This is a painful reality but a necessary step given our state's fiscal situation," he said. "This will have real impacts, not only for travelers, but for the custodial staff contracted to provide services to these facilities. These workers are our friends and neighbors in Wyoming communities around the state."
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