What is a Rolling Closure on I-80 in Wyoming
It's a term that is kind of new to me, a Rolling Closure. I began noticing it from the Wyoming Department of Transportation during snow events and road closures in Wyoming in relation to Interstate-80.
So, what is a Rolling Closure?
As anyone who has lived on the eastern plains of Wyoming can confirm, the weather in Cheyenne and the weather in the I-80 Summit pass near Laramie can be very different. Major snow and wind events can be wreaking havoc on travels at 8000 feet that folks at 6000 aren't experiencing. But the folks a the lower elevation may still have to deal with closed roads, especially I-80, because of a Rolling Closure.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) says that it's an additional public safety measure. To try to make sure folks can get services they need, and that the local town isn't overrun, WYDOT starts to close parts of I-80 further down the road to funnel travelers to less crowded towns.
The small towns along Interstate 80 have limited resources in terms of parking, fuel, hotel rooms, and other amenities. When a town is at capacity, which can happen during a long-duration closure, the closure will be rolled back to the next town to avoid stranding travelers in a location without adequate services. The road may be open in the direction leading away from the affected area.
WYDOT attempts to make accommodations for travelers who do not put a demand on an affected community's resources by issuing local traffic only restrictions and through the WYDOT Authorized Travel program. -WYDOT