WYDOT estimates 80 truck parking spaces lost by rest area closures

June 8, 2020

Greg Grisolano

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Officials with the Wyoming Department of Transportation say plans to shut down 10 of the state’s rest areas will affect about 80 truck parking spaces.

On Friday, June 5, Gov. Mark Gordon announced the state will close 10 rest areas to reduce WYDOT’s operational costs. The closures begin June 15.

The governor says the closures are necessary to reduce WYDOT’s costs due to budgetary shortfalls. The closures will leave 19 rest areas and eight information centers open statewide.

“This is a painful reality but a necessary step given our state’s fiscal situation,” Gordon said in the release. “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.”

The rest areas that WYDOT will close include:

  • Lusk on U.S. 18.
  • Guernsey on U.S. 26.
  • Greybull on U.S. 14-16-20.
  • Moorcroft on Interstate 90.
  • Star Valley on U.S. 89.
  • Fort Steele on Interstate 80.
  • Sundance on Interstate 90.
  • Upton on U.S. 16.
  • Orin Junction on Interstate 25.
  • Chugwater on Interstate 25.

“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,” WYDOT director K. Luke Reiner said “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.”

A DOT spokesperson confirmed in an email to Land Line that there are no plans to ease parking enforcement in the rest of the state as a result of fewer available spaces.

The rest area closures are expected to save WYDOT approximately $197,453 from June 15 through Sept. 30, which is the end of the fiscal year. The department estimates an annual savings of about $789,812 per year.

“Although these rest areas will close, motorists will still have access to facilities in neighboring communities,” Reiner said. “Each of the rest areas that are closing are within a reasonable distance of a town that has facilities for the public.”

Greg Grisolano

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.