Interstate 80 From Cheyenne To Laramie Remains Closed Until Saturday
Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie will not reopen until sometime Saturday, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
Opening sooner would require a break in the winter weather, which is unlikely considering forecasts of another inch of snow plus rain through Friday night.
WYDOT and other crews are still working to clear the wreckage from the multiple crashes and crash sites that occurred on Thursday.
Two of the tractor-trailer rigs in the chain-reaction crashes that closed I-80 on Thursday were split in half and spilled their cargo onto the highway.
During the crash investigation and cleanup, crews were unable to plow the highway section. The heavy, wet snow that built up became too heavy for plows to push off the highway.
A rotary plow will be required to clear some of the snow. Six plows from the Casper area and trucks from Pine Bluffs were sent to assist in the areas hardest hit by the major spring storm.
A fuel truck dispatched from Cheyenne on Friday to help keep equipment running was delayed, too, because a private vehicle ran the road closure gate on Wyoming Highway 210 got stuck and blocked the highway.
Speeds too fast for the blizzard conditions and loss of control are being investigated as factors contributing to the crashes that injured 27 people and involved more than 45 vehicles.
No fatalities resulted, but the Wyoming Highway Patrol described six of the injuries as critical or serious and involving spine and leg injuries.
The initial event was reported at about 11:22 a.m. Thursday when the variable speed limit signs in the area had been set at 45 mph.
The investigation eventually found 33 commercial vehicles and 12 passenger vehicles were involved in the largest of the three chain-reaction crashes. Many vehicles not involved in the crashes were blocked and stranded by the wreckage.
Twelve agencies from Albany and Laramie counties responded with the Wyoming Highway Patrol to help the injured and the crash investigation: Laramie County Sheriff's Office; Albany County Sheriff's Office; Wyoming Office of Homeland Security; Laramie County Fire Districts 1, 2, and 10; AMR Ambulance; F.E. Warren First Responders; Wyoming National Guard First Responders; and the Laramie Fire Department. The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army and multiple towing companies also assisted.
Motorists delayed by the closure are asked to remain patient and check for updates at www.wyoroad.info or by calling 1-888-WYO-ROAD.