A bill has been put to rest in Wyoming that sought to
establish a select panel to study how to maintain Interstate 80 in the state.
The state's Senate voted 19-9 to kill the bill - HB24 - that
earlier passed the House by unanimous consent.
The panel of highway professionals, lawmakers and state
highway commissions would have had six to eight months and $100,000 to come up
with a solution for how to pay for the state's 400 miles of the roadway.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation called on the state
to develop a long-term maintenance plan for I-80 that is separate from plans
for other roads and highways, the Casper
Plans for long-term maintenance for the highway could
include upgrading the asphalt to a sturdier concrete, adding a third lane in
each direction, building alternate routes, or diverting truck traffic to rail.
Tolling also was mentioned for further study.
The amount of truck traffic along the only direct highway
route through the upper Midwest is among the concerns lawmakers have about how
to maintain I-80.
The daily traffic count from Laramie to Cheyenne tops
12,800, the Star-Tribune reported.
That amount is expected to increase by more than 35 percent during the next 20
Large trucks account for half of I-80 traffic and is
expected to grow to 60 percent in the next two decades.
Opponents of the planned study said WYDOT should be able to
determine on its own what needs to be done to the roadway.