August 2, 2022 |

Mystery solved. The Wyoming Department of Transportation confirmed Monday what many passing motorists have suspected. The large parking lot being built at Fort Steele for trucks to wait out winter storms when Interstate 80 is closed had to be torn up and the concrete repoured.

WYDOT public information officer Andrea Staley said they original pad failed.

Pictured above: File photo of concrete pouring.

Staley did not know if the problem with the original parking lot was with the materials or the workmanship. She could only describe the symptoms.

The federally funded project carries a budget of $34.8 million. No state money is being used. Staley said despite the Mulligan, the project is still on track to come in at budget and on time.

A WYDOT news release dated October 2020 put the budget at $20 million, $14 million less than the figure provided by the state highway department on Monday. All of the money is coming from a federal grant with the acronym BUILD, Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development.

In addition to the parking area at Fort Steele, mile marker 228 east of Rawlins, a second parking area is being built at Quealey Dome, mile marker 290. Between the two pulloffs, a total of almost 200 parking spaces will be available once completed.
The hope is that the additional parking areas will reduce the number of asleep-at-the wheel crashes and allow for easier-to-find parking to wait out storms.

Other than bathrooms, the parking lot will not feature any other facilities or amenities. WYDOT hired Simon Contractors to build the parking areas with a scheduled completion date of October 2022.

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