Way to go WYDOT

By: 
NLJ Staff

In what Gov. Mark Gordon deemed “a painful reality but a necessary step given our state’s financial situation,” the Wyoming Department of Transportation has announced the closure of 10 rest areas in the state. Several of these pit stops are located in the northeast corner of the state, surrounding Newcastle in every direction. 

Last week when the announcement was made, the press release and news stories quickly circulated online and in news sources across the state. Several people expressed frustration about the closures. 

We want to applaud the department for making what we deem a “paper cut” compared to some of the other cuts coming our way. 

Are we really screaming about the closure of restrooms that are within a few miles of public restrooms in stores and restaurants? Are we really screaming about driving tourists into our local businesses to use
the restroom?   

According to information provided by WYDOT, the rest areas are to be temporarily closed until the financial situation in the state improves. 

The possibilities for these locations is endless. Maybe they house Wyoming Game and Fish Game Warden’s stations instead of building brand new structures. 

Maybe the local governments work out a deal with WYDOT to take over the property for their benefit. Maybe another state agency or private sector has interest in using the locations. 

With a reported savings of $789,812 for the closure of 10 of the least used rest areas in the state, all within a reasonable distance of a town, we can see no reason to simply barricade the property and wait for better days. 

We are inviting the community to reach out to us. Write us letters, provide feedback. We have the opportunity to take a real interest in what is done moving forward. Better yet, contact WYDOT and let them know your ideas.

What do you think should be done with these facilities? What do you suggest the department’s next move be? 

Way to go WYDOT for finding a place to cut that realistically has little impact to those living in the communities. If anything, the impact will
be positive! 

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