The Wyoming Department of Transportation could save $3 million on five construction projects costing $54.2 million by adopting recommendations from outside consultants, a new report says.

The department rejected recommendations for even more savings because of a potential reduction in highway safety and functionality, according to the report.

Gov. Matt Mead requested the report to demonstrate any savings WYDOT could achieve and to mollify critics who claimed the department could manage its funds better.

The governor is seeking additional money for the department to maintain the state's highway system.

The consultants, from five of the nation's leading engineering firms, made recommendations on possible design changes that could produce savings.

They recommended shaving an estimated $8.3 million from the $54.2 million in projects. But WYDOT and the federal Highway Administration decided to implement 17 of the firms' 37 recommendations for a total estimated savings of $3 million.

The recommendations focus on reducing design standards to the minimum of the recognized acceptable range, which results in a potential reduction in the highway’s safety and functionality, said the report from Wyoming Transportation Commission Chairman Jim Latta.

"Most of the recommendations suggested narrowing of travel lanes and safety shoulders and steepening the embankment slopes on the edge of the highway," the report said.

"Other recommendations for changes in construction sequencing or phasing would result in additional inconvenience for travelers, such as requiring a 100-mile detour around one project."

The report also identified other lesser savings at WYDOT, such as $180,000 per year in energy costs disclosed through an energy audit.

(4) comments


WYDOT could save a lot more if they learned to stop using three workers to install a metal delineator post.We don't want,or need a fuel tax increase so how about living within your means like we have to.Same goes for Fish & Game.

bane of trout
bane of trout

I respectfully disagree, rigrat.

I'm no civil engineer, but common sense tells me that maintaining quality roads is an expensive proposition. I realize my groceries and orders arrive via semi, but those same trucks cause far more damage to roadways than passenger vehicles or a rancher's diesel pickup and horse trailer. Someone's gotta pay that bill.

Also, the recommendation to reduce shoulders is terrifying, frankly. I say this as someone who's spent some time broken down in blizzards and as someone who's ridden a bicycle on major, busy highways. Narrowing shoulders is not wise.

If we're going to maintain the quality and safety of our roads, we need more revenue. As a long-time Wyoming resident and taxpayer, I'm behind the fuel tax.


Well,disagree all you want,it's an opinion and comment page.Point is, WYDOT wastes lot of money, I have watched them at work on different jobs. If I started a list here of ways they could cut and still maintain safety and efficiency,the page would never fit.The same goes for the fish and game spendaholics.

Cowboy Joe
Cowboy Joe

They spend a lot on fences that subsidize a few at the expense of all. I watched a stretch of fence go up this fall where no livestock graze---often times WYDOT builds a fence right next to an existing one. A double whammy for wildlife near roads.

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