Landslide near Dayton not safety concern, WyDOT says

Via the Wyoming News Exchange

SHERIDAN (WNE) — A spot being monitored for a potential landslide on U.S. Highway 14 east of Steamboat Point does not pose safety concerns for motorists, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

“We’re not concerned about safety,” WYDOT Senior Public Relations Specialist Laura Dalles said. “It’s something we have been watching for a number of years. Right now, (workers) are up there putting in a potential temporary additional lane, so in the event that the shoulder does slide off, we have a way to divert traffic.”

Maintenance crews have been working in the right of way just east of Steamboat Point on the highway above Dayton since May 26. 

This work is a preventative measure in the event the roadway gives way to a landslide. WYDOT District 4 maintenance staff and geologists have been watching at mile marker 69.8 for some time.

According to WYDOT geologist James Dahill, landslides are not unique to the stretch of U.S. 14 and happen in other areas of Wyoming. WYDOT began monitoring the site several years ago just below the highway and knew it would move progressively up the terrain toward the highway.

Dahill said the challenge with the Little Tongue River landslide is that US 14 crosses the slide at the waistline, or midpoint, of the slide. This means there is just as much slide-prone material above the road as there is below the roadway. Because of the nature of this geological structure, each year’s melting snowpack and yearly erosion results in the weak shale becoming saturated over time.


This story was published on June 4.


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