The Wyoming Department of Transportation is again taking applications for its Authorized Travel program, or WAT.

The program gives permission to select individuals or businesses to travel past a closure gate to get to their destination. This is the program's eighth year.

“The WAT program enables motorists to travel on sections of otherwise closed roads if nearby conditions are safe,” said WYDOT Director Bill Panos in a release. “This program is vital to local traffic because it helps those motorists get to their destinations without having to wait for the entire stretch of the closed road to reopen.”

WAT is primarily designated for local commuters and doesn’t give blanket permission for motorists to travel during every road closure. Motorists in the program will be notified by email on whether or not they are cleared to pass a road closure gate depending on where the impacted area is past the gate. They will also receive an identification number that will allow access to an automated phone update system.

“We only close roads when it’s necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public,” said Vince Garcia, WYDOT’s Geographic Information Systems manager. “Our closure points are limited to where WYDOT has gates to block traffic. That means portions of a closed road may be passable if an area that’s impacted by a crash or storm is miles away."

To apply for the WAT program, motorists can visit the Wyoming Travel Information Service website or call WYDOT’s Public Affairs at (307) 777-4375. Applicants will need to submit sections they need to travel and justification for travel, as well as driver contact and vehicle information. The Wyoming Highway Patrol reviews the applications.

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