BAGGS — A landslide undermined a section of highway over the Sierra Madre Range, complicating efforts to open the route for the summer.
Snowmobilers discovered the collapsed portion of Wyoming Highway 70 about 30 miles east of Baggs. About 100 yards of the road sloughed downhill as much as 15 feet.
The still snow-covered road had yet to open to regular traffic for the season
Crews typically plow Wyoming Highway 130 over the Snowy Range before plowing 70. Usually 130 has opened by now but exceptionally deep snow has slowed getting that road open. The slide area is located above the road closure gate just west of the overlook at mile post 30.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation said Tuesday that crews might be able to build a temporary detour around the slide area on 70. If not, it is likely that the opening of the entire length of highway will be delayed two to four months, the agency said.
WYDOT will send a team of geology experts to assess the damage and determine timing and steps to repair the road. Ongoing slides caused by heavy precipitation and snowmelt in other areas of the state may delay their arrival until later this week.
Cones have been placed around the slide to warn snowmobilers of the dangerous area. The alternate route from Rawlins up the mountain is unpaved Wyoming Highway 71 south to Highway 70.