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Keeping I-80 Open #342: Ronald D. Tabler Papers

Interstate 80 is one of Wyoming’s most important thoroughfares. The highway is the second-longest Interstate Highway in the U.S. But winter weather, which brings frigid temperatures, strong winds and blowing snow, can disable sections of the road completely.

The problem of blowing snow is particularly extreme between Laramie and Walcott Junction. Truckers refer to this section of the highway as the “Snow Chi Minh Trail”. To address the problem of blowing snow, the Wyoming Department of Transportation has installed snow fences along I-80. Properly designed and placed, these fences redirect the accumulation of snow and cut road maintenance costs by up to fifty percent. They also help reduce traffic accidents.

U.W. Professor Ronald Tabler was responsible for much of the research behind the snow fences that are so common along I-80.

You can learn more about the fences that help to keep Interstate 80 open during the winter in the Ronald D. Tabler papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.

For more information, visit the American Heritage Center site.