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Interchange April 2014, Vol. 42, Issue 4

Office Services - a one-stop shop Printing, mailing and microfilming


Kindness and support much appreciated Dear WYDOT family, I would like to say thank you for all the kindness and support during my father’s illness and passing. A special thanks to my crew leader Guy Phillips, area supervisor Max Morbeto, District 4 headquarters staff in Sheridan and my crew in Moorcroft. Everyone’s prayers, words of kindness and support really is appreciated.

Clyde Krivanec, Moorcroft

Snow plowing efforts A-1 I wanted to write and let WYDOT know what an excellent job is being accomplished by the employees working in Platte County who plow the road between Cheyenne and Wheatland. I’ve had to travel a great deal this year in particularly poor weather with awful road conditions and I am so thankful that as soon as I come to the county line, the roads drastically improve due to the conscientious plowing and maintenance the road crews perform. God bless them! Someone needs to recognize their hard work and dedication in keeping us safe and able to travel for business, work and the return trips home in ever-changing winter conditions. I for one am grateful for the faithfulness these crews demonstrate!

Sincerely, Liz Masie, Chugwater Elementary

I’m not sure if this is exactly who this email should go to but I commute from Cheyenne to Torrington, Monday through Friday on Highway 85. I usually leave my house at 0630 to get to Torrington at 0830. I clock out at 1700 and usually get home at 1830. I just wanted to say thank you for all that you do with the roads and how well they are cleared following winter storms and heavy precipitation. I would not be able to get to my job at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution if it would not be for WYDOT and snow plow crews “burning the midnight oil,” so to speak. I would not be able to make a living and provide for my

family if it weren’t for WYDOT. Please send my thanks on to all employees who help with every rugged Wyoming winter. Again, thank you for all that you do.

Brandon Schimelpfenig

As a downhill skier who has made more than a dozen trips to Sleeping Giant this winter, I want to express my appreciation for the snow plow crew that has serviced U.S. 14/16/20 west from Cody this season. They have done a great job of consistently clearing the road in the morning in time for us early skiers to safely travel to Sleeping Giant for the start of the ski day. Knowing that the road will be open each morning makes it nice for skiers and the Rec Bus traveling to Sleeping Giant. Their efforts are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Interchange Interchange is published for employees of the Wyoming Department of Transportation by its Public Affairs Office and a number of field correspondents. Interchange invites submissions from all employees. Please send them to either your district correspondents or to: Carlie Van Winkle, Interchange editor, 5300 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY, 82009-3340. The Public Affairs Office may also be contacted by phoning (307) 777-4165, faxing (307) 777-4289, or sending email to

Rob Overfield, Cody

Heartfelt thank yous for donated time Dear WYDOT and State Family, I would like to say thank you to those who donated time, emails, visits and prayers during my time away from work throughout the last year. Not only has your generosity helped me get through some hospital stays and many days at home but will help me get through more doctors appointments. I hope the new treatment I am going through will help me get back on track and continue to live pain free again or at least maintain a manageable pain level. I truly hope you know how much your kindness meant to me during my time away from work. Thank you so very much and God bless each and every one of you!

Rose Morgan

I wanted to thank all those who donated sick leave for the extended amount of time that I was off for repair to my torn rotator cuff. I wish I could thank each individual personally because, as some already know, I was already apprehensive about losing pay before I returned back to work. It was a big relief to know I was covered. It’s a pleasure to be a part of an organization where fellow employees care about each other. Again, thank you to all.

Staff WYDOT Director: John F. Cox Public Affairs Manager: Doug McGee Editor/Art Director: Carlie Van Winkle Contributors: Bruce Burrows Public Affairs Dave Kingham Public Affairs Carlie Van Winkle Public Affairs Ross Doman District 1 Jeff Goetz District 2 Stephanie Harsha District 3 Ronda Holwell District 4 Cody Beers District 5 Sgt. Stephen Townsend Patrol Photography: Rick Carpenter Public Affairs

Bob Towns, Douglas Construction

Letters continued on page 21



a n

April 2014

DOT publication

Also in this issue:

Contents 8

Letters.....................................2 District briefs.........................4 District news.......................14


HR Happenings..................16 Outdoors..............................17 Noteworthy..........................18 Passings................................19 Extra Mile Awards............. 20


Training at a Glance......... 20 By the Numbers................ 20

8 WYDOT Avalanche Technicians

WTDEA..................................21 Break Time.......................... 23


‘Pineapple Express’ came to Wyoming

10 Office Services

Microfilming, printing, mailing - a one-stop shop

12 Cheyenne Driver Services

Anticipated move to larger facility mid-April

13 Spring cleaning for higher security Be sure to check out the online version of Interchange at, or click on the link found on the employee’s internal website home page.

Changing passwords ward against attack On the cover:

Office Services is a one-stop shop for printing, mailing or storing WYDOT documents. The file room in the basement of headquarters houses cabinets full of microfiche, files and other archived information. Photo: Rick Carpenter

April 2014




District Briefs Oversize load damages bridge overpass

WYDOT’s snow control costs exceed budget

Cheyenne – An overpass 24 miles north of Cheyenne at the Nimmo Road interchange on I-25 remains closed until WYDOT can repair damage caused by an oversize load striking the bottom of the overpass Feb. 28. The driver of the oversize load thought his load was under the posted height, but it proved to be slightly taller. The load, a large open-pit mining truck, struck the underside of the overpass heading southbound causing major damage to the bridge girders. The impact also caused the oversized mining truck to come partially off of the trailer it was being hauled on. A large crane was required to lift the load back onto the trailer. The mining truck was en route to South America.

Cheyenne – WYDOT’s snow control costs during the current fiscal year have exceeded the $22.6 million budgeted, largely due to heavier-than-usual snow during February. At the end of January snow control spending stood at 69 percent of the budgeted amount, but spending during February was double the usual amount. As of Feb. 28, WYDOT had spent $21.9 million for snow control. Although the March figures are not in yet, the costs of dealing with snowstorms so far this month are expected to have exceeded the $674,000 that remained in the budget. With the rest of March, all of April and the May and June reopening of three alpine passes still to come, WYDOT expects the budget overrun to be significant. In addition, because WYDOT operates on the federal fiscal year of Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, the current budget also must cover any snow control needed next September. WYDOT Budget Officer Kevin Hibbard said, if March and April continue to bring the usual spring snowstorms, the projected snow control overrun could be as much as $6 million. “Historically March and April are our heaviest snow months, but even if there is no more snow this spring, just reopening the mountain passes will put us significantly over the budgeted amount,” Chief Engineer Del McOmie said. The department closes WYO 130 over Snowy Range Pass, WYO 70 over Battle Pass, and U.S. 14A west of Burgess Junction annually when heavy snowfall and low traffic volumes make it impractical to keep them open. Reopening those passes in May and June cost an average of $305,000 annually during the past five years, with a high of $602,000 in 2011. With most areas of the state reporting heavier-than-normal snow this winter, the cost is likely to be higher than average this year. Any significant cost overrun in the snow control budget will be made up through WYDOT’s state construction budget. “Our contingency plan is that we don’t

Photo: WYDOT


Bridge girders bent upon impact with the oversize mining dump vehicle transported south on I-25.




April 2014

award contracts for our state-funded construction program until after the snow control budget is cleaned up,” Hibbard said.

Transportation Commission awards $33.5 million in highway contracts Contracts totaling $33.5 million for 12 highway projects around the state, including three to be funded with increased fuel tax revenue, were awarded by the Wyoming Transportation Commission during its March meeting in Cheyenne. Cheyenne’s Reiman Corp. won the largest of the contracts with the low bid of $4.9 million to replace and repair damaged concrete slabs on a mile of U.S. 14A-WYO 789 (Main Street) in Lovell. The road repairs account for $2.4 million of the total contract and will be paid for with revenue from the 10-cent fuel tax increase. Also included in the contract is replacing water and sewer lines under the road at a cost of $2.5 million, and that will be paid for by the town of Lovell. The contract completion date is Oct. 31. Reiman also was awarded a $2.6 million contract for rehabilitation work on I-80 bridges in the Cheyenne area. Four bridges over Crow Creek west of the College Drive Interchange and the approaches to the bridges will be repaired, along with the bridges at Remount west of Cheyenne and Archer east of Cheyenne. The work is expected to be done by Oct. 31. Hedquist Construction of Mills won a $4.5 million contract for reconstruction of the intersection of CY Avenue (WYO 220) and Poplar Street in Casper. The work will include widening to accommodate an additional left-turn lane on CY and right-turn lanes on Poplar to improve traffic flow at the busy intersection. The contract completion date is May 31, 2015. Casper’s Oftedal Construction was the low bidder at $4.3 million for a contract to rebuild a 2.3-mile section of U.S. 287 at Diversion Dam Junction west of Riverton. The work will address problems with unstable soils under the highway by installing three layers of geogrid, a heavy plastic mesh, in the soil before the road section is rebuilt. The project will be paid for with revenue from the 10-cent fuel tax increase, and the contract completion

Sensors and electronic signs will be installed on WYO 22 near the Idaho border under a $1.5 million contract won by Cache Valley Electric Co. of Salt lake City. The sensors will weigh and classify trucks and trigger the electronic signs to warn the drivers if their vehicles are overweight and not safe to proceed over Teton Pass. The project also will include adding a paved area beside the highway to allow trucks to turn around. The work is scheduled to be done by June 30, 2015. In addition to awarding contracts, the commission elected Bruce McCormack of Cody as its new chairman, and Clair Anderson of Riverton as vice chairman. McCormack represents Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie counties on the commission, and Anderson represents Converse, Fremont and Natrona counties.

compressed nitrogen and oxygen in the trailer. Stockham has been cited for speed too fast for the existing conditions and transporting hazardous materials without the proper required placarding. The crash remains under investigation and additional charges may be pending. State law requires motorists on the interstate to remain in the lane farthest from the stopped emergency vehicle. WHP Major Keith Groeneweg stated that troopers will have zero tolerance for those who disregard the state’s move over law, and those who travel at speeds too fast for existing conditions.

Trooper injured at roadside on I-80 Arlington – A WHP trooper was injured March 3 when his vehicle was struck as he was completing an investigation of a jackknifed semi tractor trailer crash. The crash injuring the trooper occurred approximately 1.5 miles east of the Arlington interchange on westbound I-80. Roadways in the area were icy and variable speed limit signs had posted a reduced speed in both east and westbound lanes of traffic. Trooper Kaycee Shroyer was seated in his parked patrol car in the median of the roadway with emergency lights activated when the driver of a westbound one-ton pickup pulling a trailer lost control of his vehicle. The combination jackknifed as it went across the driving and passing lane and slammed into the rear of the trooper’s patrol car. Trooper Shroyer was transported via ambulance to Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie where he was treated for minor injuries and released. The patrol car sustained heavy damage and will be declared a loss. The driver of the pickup and trailer combination, Brian Stockham from Boulder, Colo. was uninjured in the crash. Stockham was transporting cylinders of


Photo: WHP

date is June 30, 2015. S&S Builders of Gillette will complete rehabilitation work on 10 bridges on I-25 and I-90 under a $3.8 million contract awarded. Most of the work will involve deck repairs, but a full deck replacement on the I-90 bridges over Houston Creek west of Sundance will require diverting traffic to the other side of the highway, and work on the I-25-I-90 Interchange at Buffalo will require closing the middle level of the interchange, which carries traffic going from westbound I-90 to southbound I-25. The work is scheduled for completion by Aug. 31, 2015. Six miles of WYO 196 about five miles south of Buffalo will have deteriorating pavement removed and replaced with a new layer of pavement under a $1.9 million contract won by McGarvin-Moberly Construction of Worland. The work between Crazy Woman Canyon Road and the Bull Creek bridge will be funded with increased fuel tax revenue and is expected to be done by Oct. 31. Intermountain Slurry Seal of Watsonville, Calif., submitted the low bid of $3.1 million for chip sealing work to preserve the pavement on highway sections in Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton and Uinta counties by Aug. 31. Intermountain also won a $2.6 million contract for chip sealing on highways in Campbell, Crook and Weston counties by the same date. Casper’s Knife River was the low bidder at $2 million for chip sealing work on highways in Albany, Carbon and Laramie counties by Oct. 31. Cannon Builders of Blackfoot, Idaho was the low bidder at $1.6 million for rehabilitation work on three I-80 bridges in the Evanston area. The work will be done on bridges in the eastbound lanes at the State Hospital Road and U.S. 189 interchanges and on the westbound bridge over the Bear River and Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The contract completion date is July 31, 2015. Cannon also was awarded a $745,000 contract to replace the aging, narrow bridge over the Hams Fork River on Conroy Street in Diamondville. The existing timber deck bridge isn’t wide enough to handle two-way traffic, and the new bridge will have two 12-foot travel lanes. The project is part of a WYDOT program that assists cities, towns and counties with bridge repairs and replacement. The contract completion date is Oct. 31.

WHP car deemed a loss after the March 3 crash involving a pickup and trailer combination driving too fast for conditions.

Construction of a new Bill Nye Avenue section begins Spring 2015 Laramie – With the addition of .67 miles of roadway on Laramie’s east side, city residents can look forward to a modern thoroughfare that accommodates future growth, with access to the new high school. The project ties into the intersection of Vista Drive and Bluebird Lane and extends west, tying into Boulder Drive. The scope includes waterline work, storm drains, curb and gutter with modern ADA access, a bike path, and a center median island the entire length. An open house to discuss this project was held on March 13.

Parsley Blvd. Bridge repairs on horizon Cheyenne – Bridge engineers have assessed the safety of the Parsley Boulevard Bridge over I-80 in Cheyenne and Briefs continued on page 6 April 2014




Briefs continued from page 5 reopened it to all traffic. The reopened bridge will accommodate two ten-foot lanes of traffic with a speed limit of 15 mph. The structure was closed on Feb. 28 due to damage caused by a truck carrying an over-height load. The westbound truck carrying a large oil storage tank damaged the same girders struck by a truck carrying an over-height excavator last August. The Wyoming Transportation Commission had just awarded a $662,000 contract on Feb. 20 for replacement of the two girders struck last August. The most recent strike did additional damage to those girders. Comprehensive repairs of the Parsley Boulevard Bridge will begin in June and be completed before Cheyenne Frontier Days.

WYDOT addresses construction process Rock Springs – WYDOT maintains nearly 7,000 miles of road throughout Wyoming and generally performs maintenance and upkeep on these roads in-house. Most construction projects, such as paving and reconstruction, are performed by private companies. In an effort to help foster better understanding of this process, WYDOT has created and released an explanatory video for public use. WYDOT developed the video to highlight the ins and outs of the contracting process, and to help the public better understand the responsibilities involved with these contracts. This new video, WYDOT’s Contracting Process, explains the process that WYDOT engages in when awarding construction projects and how they administer these contracts. The video can be found on WYDOT’s website at, under the Construction and Engineering Tab. “Many people are unaware of how WYDOT deals with construction. This video helps them understand the process involved in building and renovating our roads,” WYDOT Public Relations Specialist Stephanie Harsha said.





April 2014

Road improvement projects slated for Kemmerer area

Psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana and currency seized

Kemmerer – Recent moisture and varying temperatures have taken a toll on pavement conditions in the Kemmerer area. Many of the local residents have noticed an increasing number of potholes turning up on streets and highways. WYDOT is also taking note and doing what it can to improve conditions. “Over the last several years the pavement through Diamondville has steadily worsened in condition. As this deterioration was noticed, a project to mill off the top two inches of old pavement and replace it with new pavement, as well as do some necessary ADA ramp upgrades, was put into the state’s long term plan. Unfortunately, the pavement didn’t hold up to our wet and warm winter and this road can’t wait until then,” Kemmerer Resident Engineer Jennifer Hoffman said. In response to the immediate problem, WYDOT has a contract patch repair job scheduled for later this summer on U.S. 30 ALT near the new Best Western and the Chevron gas station to relieve some of the pavement deterioration. However, WYDOT engineers have work planned to improve the section even more. “The patch should work as a band-aid until we can do the previously planned project and get the more comprehensive rehabilitation project completed,” Hoffman said. The comprehensive rehabilitation will come in 2018, when WYDOT will be working on the Kemmerer Streets project, which will include work on this section and the half mile on the other end of Kemmerer in front of the WYDOT shop. WYDOT maintenance crews have been very busy responding to potholes on this section as well as other sections on U.S. 30. With recent fluctuations in the weather with moisture and temperature, crews are struggling to keep up with the development of more and more pavement damage. “It’s not a quick process or an easy fix,” Hoffman said.

Evanston – During the last week of February, thousands of dollars of U.S. currency and more than 21 pounds of marijuana and more than a pound of psilocybin mushrooms were seized in two separate traffic stops by WHP. An out-of-state resident is facing felony charges including possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. Both of the unrelated traffic stops were made on I-80 in Uinta County east of Evanston and involved the use of a WHP drug detection dog. The first stop on Feb. 24 resulted in the seizure of 21 packages of marijuana and one package of psilocybin mushrooms with a street value of approximately $128,200. The second traffic stop on Feb. 26 resulted in a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession after a small amount of the drug was found in the vehicle. A further search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of multiple packages of U.S. currency. The seized currency is believed to have come from assets that were derived from or were used to facilitate criminal activity. The currency may be proceeds from drug trafficking activities, organized crime or money laundering. The amount seized was more than $118,000. The currency will be held for a period of approximately six months for the rightful owner to file a claim for the money. If no one files a legitimate claim during that time period the currency will then begin an asset forfeiture proceeding. The asset forfeiture proceedings could take an additional six to eight months. After that time, the money will be divided up among the law enforcement agencies involved in the seizure and the investigation process. WHP K-9’s are trained to detect narcotics and are utilized to conduct drug sniffs of vehicles to locate narcotics being transported from one location to another.

Riverton – Traffic patterns changed March 12 on Federal Boulevard in Riverton with the beginning of a $5 million highway improvement project. A cone zone with two-way restricted traffic will be the norm through the spring and summer as the Federal Boulevard-Monroe Avenue intersection and road between Monroe and Washington avenues are reconstructed. Delivery of pipe and prefabricated concrete manholes had delays early in the project, but asphalt pavement milling is continuing as scheduled. The contractor began excavation activities mid-March. Prime contractor for the project is Reiman Corp., of Cheyenne. Aspects of the project include concrete paving, curb and gutter, sidewalk and a new traffic signal at the Federal-Monroe intersection ($2.9 million); new water and sanitary sewer lines ($918,000); a new storm sewer system ($760,000); and new street lighting along Federal Boulevard ($460,000). Most of the funding for the project is coming from federal highway funding, but WYDOT and city of Riverton funding are also being used to help reconstruct this section of Federal Boulevard/Monroe Avenue. “Reiman Corp. and its excavation subcontractor, Archer Construction of Riverton, began by shifting traffic on Federal to the west side of the street from Monroe Avenue to Washington Avenue,” said WYDOT Resident Engineer Robert Scheidemantel of Riverton. “This activity includes closing the two east lanes and part of the center-line of Federal Boulevard. Two-way traffic – one lane northbound, one lane southbound – will be maintained at all times during this transition and subsequent construction.” Scheidemantel said while the east lanes of Federal Boulevard are closed the contractor will be removing the existing pavement in order to replace the existing water and sewer systems. New curb and gutter, sidewalks, and water and sewer


facilities will be installed before the new concrete paving. Access to businesses will be maintained and clearly signed at all times during highway improvement activities, Scheidemantel said. Citizens, business owners and media are invited to attend a 2 p.m. work meeting every Thursday at El Durango located within the project on Federal Boulevard. The contract completion date is Sept. 30.

Highway improvements resuming east of Cody; traffic delays expected Cody – With improving weather and frost leaving the ground, work is resuming on the $12.3 million highway improvement project on Cody’s east edge, according to WYDOT resident engineer Todd Frost in Cody. “Rotomilling activities began March 17 from Beacon Hill Road to West Cooper Lane,” said WYDOT Resident Engineer Todd Frost in Cody. “The contractor will remove pavement from the north half of the roadway, and pavement will be left on the south half with two-way traffic movements on the south half.” Frost said the pavement is being removed so storm sewer can be placed through this area, and other dirt fill operations and pipe work are occurring throughout the project. Citizens should continue to expect traffic delays of up to 10 minutes through the project. When working on the project, the contractor will be required to maintain two-way traffic throughout the area without delays, with the exception of one flagger station, between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. “This commuting-time flagger station will stop traffic just long enough to allow ingress and egress for haul of contractor-furnished materials on and off the project,” Frost said. “The remainder of the time the cumulative delay of 10 minutes maximum will be allowed, and traffic will be led through the work zone with pilot vehicles.” Other work includes an irrigation ditch crossing through U.S. 14A about 1,000 feet to the west of Beacon Hill Road. “Half of the pipe will be installed while traffic is being carried on the other half

of the roadway. The contractor will also be working on other irrigation items throughout the project.” The Sage Creek bridge subcontractor, CC&G, Inc., of Lander, is currently working on the north half of the new bridge. “Bridge piers are their current focus, and bridge abutment work is starting this week,” Frost said. Traffic across Sage Creek bridge is being carried on the south half of the new bridge while the north half is being constructed. The speed limit across the new bridge is 35 mph, and a 12-foot width restriction is in place across the bridge and throughout the project. About 3.5 miles of U.S. 14A is being widened to five lanes with a continuous turn lane and eight-foot shoulders. This project is the final section in a long-term series of projects to widen 24 miles of U.S. 14A between Cody and Powell. Oftedal Construction, Inc., with offices in Miles City, Mont. and Casper, is the prime contractor of the Cody East highway improvement project. The Wyoming Transportation Commission awarded the U.S. 14A project to Oftedal in May 2013. Oftedal’s scope of work includes grading, draining, milling of existing asphalt pavement, placing pit run subbase and crushed gravel, asphalt paving and paving of asphalt wearing course, chip sealing, removal and replacement of the Sage Creek bridge, installing concrete pavement, installing roadway lighting and electrical work, and installing guardrail, fencing and other work on 3.45 miles of U.S. 14A and Wyoming 114 beginning at milepost 2.20 (West Cooper Lane) between Cody and Powell.

Photo: WYDOT

Federal/Monroe highway improvements began March 12 in Riverton

Cody East highway improvements resume with the improving weather this spring.

Briefs continued on page 20 April 2014




While the rest of the country was buried in ice, Wyoming’s northwest corner was trying to get itself out of the snow. The WYDOT’s avalanche maintenance teams were extremely busy.

The first week of February brought a wet and warm subtropical southwestern flow that camped out over western Wyoming. While the rest of the country was preparing for historic severe weather, so were the maintenance teams in the Jackson area. “This weather pattern is commonly referred to as the ‘Pineapple Express,’ where the jet stream tracks from Hawaii to the western United States, bringing warm and wet air from the tropics,” WYDOT avalanche technician Jamie Yount said. With the new load of moisture, several avalanches were observed in both the Hoback Canyon and the Snake River Canyon. The morning of Feb. 8, a small slide released naturally from the Cow of the Woods path in Hoback Canyon at approximately 5:20 a.m. The slide deposited 4-5 feet of debris on the roadway and blocked both lanes of travel. “Visibility was very poor on all area roads and a vehicle drove into the debris pile and became stuck,” Yount recalled. A plow was dispatched from the Jackson shop and cleanup began after the stuck vehicle was pulled from the debris. Cleanup was completed quickly with the highway reopened to traffic at 7:09 a.m. However, it was just the beginning of an extensive avalanche event. Over the two days, the Snake River Canyon experienced a significant avalanche cycle. A total of 15 avalanches affected the highway through the Snake River Canyon with approximately 3040 avalanche crowns observed in the greater canyon area.




April 2014

Photos courtesy Stephanie Harsha

WYDOT Avalanche technicians kept busy

by Stephanie Harsha

An avalanche crown is the top fracture surface of a slab avalanche; it’s usually clean cut and smooth-looking snowpack layer. The morning of Feb. 8, Yount and his team also issued a notification that avalanche control work would be taking place at 9 p.m. over Teton Pass. That evening, maintenance crews immediately began work on detonating avalanche control devices on the pass, bringing down a soft slab that deposited 5-6 feet of debris on WYO 22. Due to increasing avalanche hazards and significant snow drifting narrowing the road, Teton Pass remained closed for the night. During the night, however, a vehicle drove around the west side road closed gate. “After the vehicle reached the slide at the Glory Bowl, they turned around only to discover that a natural avalanche had occurred at milepost 13.5 and blocked the road with 10 feet of debris. The vehicle was trapped and waited at the summit parking lot until the road was cleared in the morning,” Yount said. Cleanup operations continued with the highway reopening at 10 a.m. on February 9. Mother Nature was not quite finished yet. The following week, on Feb. 13. in anticipation of a considerable avalanche forecast, Yount and his team planned a second closure of Teton Pass for more avalanche control work. In the early hours of the morning, avalanche crews successfully reduced some of the avalanche risk, but also began preparing for another storm. As nature dumped more moisture on the Teton Valley, Hoback and Snake River Canyons, several wet slide avalanches were observed around the Jackson area, as the rain weakened the fragile snowpack to the point of failure.

slide was a massive class 5 avalanche with the dust cloud depositing 6 inches of snow in the road and multiple 100-year-old trees destroyed by the associated air blast. “This avalanche buried the old highway (30-40 feet higher “The snowpack in the Hoback Canyon was the weakest with than the new road) in the winter of 1949. When the highway was faceted snow near the ground that has been heavily stressed by realigned in the 1960s, the engineers created a series of mounds the extreme load of new snow,” Yount said. in the Bull of the Woods track to disrupt the flow of avalanche With natural avalanche activity observed and more snow debris. The mounds absorbed the majority of the debris and forecast for the area, a helicopter bombing mission was planned saved the highway from being affected by this massive avalanche. for the Hoback during the next flyable weather window forecast I would estimate the air blast to be close to a 150 mile per hour for Saturday morning, Feb. 15. gust,” Yount said. Partial clearing of the weather on Saturday morning allowed The storm was also creating challenging conditions on Teton the use of the Teton County Search and Rescue helicopter. The Pass. Heavy snow and very strong winds forced a closure of Teton helicopter landed at the Stinking Springs turnout at 11:15 a.m. Pass due to winter driving and whiteout conditions. The gates and preparations were made for the bombing mission. The were lowered at 6 p.m. and the remaining traffic was cleared highway was closed from the highway. at 11:40 a.m. from Since the road was Stinking Springs already closed and to Granite Creek. clear of traffic and Control work began backcountry users, at the Cow of the an avalanche control Woods. The charge mission was quickly triggered a very large conducted. Visibility avalanche with a 3 improved enough to foot crown that dereopen the road at posited more than 35 about 7:30 p.m. feet of debris in the Conditions were highway. also prime for an Several more avalanche cycle on charges were detothe slide paths near nated throughout the Jackson. A wet slab canyon and the heavalanche was oblicopter returned to served at the Welthe Stinking Springs come to Jackson Hole turnout with cleanup path just north of the operations begintown line. The slide ning at approximately was small and only noon. The road was deposited debris onto reopened around the road shoulder. 3:23 p.m. “The snow sup“The debris pile porting structures at the Cow of the recently constructed Woods was impres- Snow supporting structures like these, shown above, near Jackson help provide a defense against certainly prevented avalanches. sive with 75 feet of an avalanche from road covered to a releasing at the 151 maximum height of 35 feet; one of the largest slides to release at path. The location and design of the structures is mitigating the the Cow of the Woods path in the last 12 years,” Yount said. hazard well, considering the large amount of snow and wind this The weather continued to deteriorate and by Feb. 16, two mamonth,” Yount said. jor avalanches in the Hoback Canyon had pushed the boundaries Overall, crews were able to keep up with the excessive snow of historically recorded avalanche cycles. and wind over the storm cycles to keep motorists safe on WyoThe first, near milepost 151.1 on U.S. 191, released 4-5 feet of ming’s roads. debris over 50 feet of highway around 3:42 p.m. The debris was “I am confident in what our avalanche technician and maincleared and the road was reopened around 5:18 p.m. tenance crews do in Jackson. They do everything they can to “While several past events have deposited snow in the turnout protect motorists in extensive winter conditions,” District Mainadjacent to the road, this path has no history of depositing debris tenance Engineer Tory Thomas said. into the highway since the road was realigned in the 1960s,” Yount commented. The second, a large and destructive natural avalanche, released at the Bull of the Woods slide path at milepost 156.5. The Previous page: The debris pile at the Cow of the Woods in the Hoback Canyon was 75 feet of road cover and had a maximum height of 35 feet, one of the largest slides to release at that location in the last 12 years.

April 2014




Microfilming, printing, mailing; all in a day’s work for Office Services WYDOT’s Office Services Program could be described as a multifunctional “one-stop shop” when it comes to plans and documents issued by the department. They print them, they mail them, they make a permanent record, and they store them in the archives. The program consists of three sections, Records, Printing and Mailroom. Although program manager Tim Tyler and his staff of 14 are all housed in the basement level of the headquarters building in Cheyenne, they provide assistance to WYDOT personnel throughout the state. “We interact with a range of WYDOT employees, both at headquarters and in the field, with the goal of performing optimal customer service in the area of managing records, meeting document reproduction needs and distributing mail,” Tyler Tyler said. The Records Section offers a variety of services such as microfilming, scanning, maintaining project files, and conducting research into archived materials. The section includes the Central Files, where folders are maintained for all active WYDOT projects let by the Wyoming Transportation Commission. Documents which accumulate in the folders include the basic contract as approved by the commission, contract amendments, change orders, additional subcontracts and other agreements, the engineer’s weekly report and project-related correspondence. Shortly after a project is approved by the commission, Central Files sets up the project folder and then continues to maintain it until after the project is “finaled,” a process which can stretch several years. As a result, Central Files maintains hundreds of construction project folders simultaneously. Not surprisingly, folders for large projects are typically voluminous, containing thousands of pages. Beyond construction project folders, Central Files also sets up and maintains folders for items including water, right-of-way and cooperative agreements, and documents related to enhancement and safety projects. “Obviously, there’s a lot of official paperwork produced by




April 2014

WYDOT, for a multitude of reasons, and it’s our job in Office Services to secure those documents and ensure we properly and efficiently catalog them,” Tyler said. “Our Records Section staff has proven to be very proficient at doing just that.” After a project is finaled, responsibility for the project folder shifts from Central Files to the Records Section’s team of micrographics technicians. Folder contents are microfilmed in duplicate, with one copy retained by Central Files for easy access and viewing by WYDOT headquarters personnel. The other copy goes to the Wyoming State Archives (a division of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources) in Cheyenne, where it is kept in an environmentally controlled and secured storage area designed to maximize Micrographics employee, Joann Edwards scanning in a document. prospects for long-term preservation of records. Another major task for the micrographics technicians is making a record of “as-constructed project plans.” This process currently involves microfilming the plan sheets and formatting the

Office Services staff, on average, annually: Microfilms more than 800,000 pages of documents; Files more than 30,000 projectrelated items such as correspondence, agreements and contracts; Prints close to 7 million pages (standard 8.5 by 11-inch and oversize); and Ships more than 375,000 pieces of mail.

Photo: Rick Carpenter

by Bruce Burrows

materials as well. Thanks to advances in technology, Printing Services can assist its customers by copying, scanning or using digital means to work from original materials. WYDOT employees can email work flow (usually as a PDF attachment) directly to Printing Services, or stop by the print shop with a thumb drive or other digital transfer device. “I often hear that the quality provided by our Printing Services section is topnotch, and this is borne out by the fact that each year we acquire additional jobs from WYDOT programs,” Tyler said. The Mailing Services Section is another vital component of Office Services. As the name implies, section staff is responsible for receiving and distributing incoming mail at headquarters,

Photos: Rick Carpenter

film onto “aperture cards” which are stored in the Central Files reference room. A second copy is provided to the field district in which the project was built, and a third copy goes to State Archives. In some cases, the Records Section will make a fourth copy of the as-constructed plan sheets on behalf of a county government. In addition, the plans sheets are now being scanned for inclusion in the digital Falcon Document Management System, which allows WYDOT customers the ability to view the plans from their own desktop. Tyler and his Records Sections supervisor collaborate with State Archives staff and WYDOT program managers to determine retention schedules for archived materials. By statute, some records are classified as permanent and therefore, are retained

Photos from left: Ray Neal in printing services at a trimming machine; Kermit Green preparing a set of plans for imaging; and David Messman in the mail room packaging mail for delivery to other WYDOT and state buildings.

indefinitely. However, other records only need be retained for a set period of time. The State Records Committee is pivotal in establishing storage policies, guidelines and retention schedules. The Printing Services Section of Office Services offers highvolume reproduction of original materials in color or in black and white formats, and in varying dimensions, up to 11 by 17 inches. Larger format black and white reproduction work (up to 36 inches in one dimension) can be accommodated in more limited quantities. Printing Services staff assign priority to producing design plan sets for the monthly contract letting, due to the time sensitive nature of that event. Other times during the month, they stay busy cranking out a wide variety of items including training manuals, business cards, flyers and booklets. In addition to reproduction work, Printing Services also offers the customer a number of binding options (GBC, three-holepunch, spiral and saddle stitch) and they can laminate printed

as well as collecting and processing outbound mail. The service includes direct coordination with the downtown (Department of Administration & Information) mail service, as well as select other state agencies. The staff offer WYDOT employees the added convenience of facilitating large-item shipping via delivery services such as U.S. Postal Service, Federal Express and United Parcel Service. They also can undertake large-scale mailings with service extending to folding, inserting, and addressing tasks. “Our mailroom staff has continued to sharpen their processes and that gain in efficiency has resulted in sizeable cost savings on an ongoing basis,” Tyler said. “Overall, I’m very proud of the entire Office Services crew. Feedback drawn from surveys and directly from customers indicates our employees consistently meet or exceed expectations,” he added. “Also, our turnover rate is comparatively low, so I’d like to recognize program personnel for maintaining a positive work environment. For example, consider that the three-man Printing Services section has amassed more than 90 years of service amongst themselves. That speaks for itself.”

April 2014




Photo: Rick Carpenter

Driver Services offices moving




April 2014

current facility at times for both customers and employees. We’ll have more parking at the new facility.” Wait times at the Cheyenne office have been up and down in recent months, with longer waits from August to mid-September, and then tapering off during the winter months. “By June 1st we’ll be three years into the new identity documentation requirements, and I think the word is out there now and most people are trying to make sure they bring in all the documents they need,” Edington said. “And it’s gotten easier for our folks − they’ve gotten used to the system. The quirks we had early on have been worked out for the most part.”

Photo: Rick Carpenter

The Driver Services Program offices are being moved to the site of the former Norris Travel Center at the I-25 College Drive Interchange in Cheyenne. Facilities Management began the move on March 24, and, weather permitting, it will be completed by April 14. The driver license examiners’ are expected to be moved during the weekend of April 12-13, so they can continue to serve customers at the existing location through April 11 and then open for business at the new location on April 14. The new location has been vacant since 2012, when the Travel and Tourism Department opened the new Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center at the High Plains Interchange about three miles to the south. Portions of the 39-year-old building have been remodeled and it will provide the additional space the Driver Services Program needs, more room and parking for customers and easier access to public restrooms. “The Driver Services staff is looking forward to moving to a facility that gives us the room we need and will allow us to better serve our customers,” WYDOT Driver Services Manager Don Edington said. The current office has room for four examiners. The new facility has room for a fifth examiner, which will allow a supervisor to help out during busy times. There also will be more counter space and room behind the counter for the examiners, making it easier for them to do their job efficiently. Skills testing courses for commercial driver license and motorcycle operator license applicants will be set up at the new site. Waiting room for customers became a priority after new federal and state identity verification requirements went into effect in 2011, increasing average wait times for those getting a new license or renewing a license or identification card. “The waiting area will be a little bit bigger, and it should be more comfortable,” Edington said. “Parking is an issue at our

by Dave Kingham

The current Cheyenne facilities are functional, but the move means more room inside with a waiting area, more examination stations and a larger parking lot for visitors and testing maneuvers.

On a morning in April 2011, the highly destructive and prolific Qakbot virus attacked WYDOT and by 4:00 p.m. that same day, the entire state had been infected. Qakbot would “ping” or “phone home” to an outside domain and reinfect the state’s system despite internal anti-virus attempts, allowing it to easily spread computer to computer and from computers to external devices including thumb drives. Information Technology (IT) staff worked tirelessly for 10 weeks to gain control of the situation and have since continued efforts to prevent a similar attack. “Prior to April 2011, every user had admin rights on our domain. After Qakbot, those rights were lessened to only local admin rights to allow each user to make changes on their desktop computers,” said Dave Birge, IT support manager. More recently, national headlines rang out with news that data kept by mega-retailer Target had been hacked. Credit card and other vital information was stolen, leaving consumers wondering what could be done to protect them from further attacks. With hackers and malware keeping up and sometimes outpacing advances in computer security, it takes a vigilant IT department and help from each employee to keep information safe on the WYDOT network. In an effort to maintain security, Assistant Chief Engineer for Operations Ken Shultz recommended WYDOT employees undertake Cyber Security Awareness and Computer Security Training, also known as SANS, this past October. “Each employee with an email account should comply with IT policy requirements, by logging into the system, viewing six to ten of the short, informative training clips and answering the questions at the end of each clip,” said Shultz. Among the 16 available SANS videos to watch include: You Are The Target, Social Engineering, Email and IM, Social Networking, Passwords, Data Destruction, Insider Threat and Hacked. Although computer security is commonplace for those working in an office environment, being prepared in the workplace can easily be adapted to home computing. Pennie Bliss, a WYDOT construction and field survey technician from Douglas, recounted her experiences on computer safety to help other employees avoid the problems that she fell victim to. Many of her

Photos: Rick Carpenter

Spring cleaning for higher security

by Carlie Van Winkle passwords were the same for every device and website, making her vulnerable to outside attack. “What I took away from the SANS training is that we shouldn’t make every password the same,” Bliss said. “Make creative passwords with capital letters in the center, not just the first letter. Be sure to add symbols and numbers, but avoid anything that has to do with addresses, family, pets or important dates.” Along with changing your passwords regularly, a savvy computer user should clean out cookies and dump the cache on their browser at regular intervals to keep secure information from falling into a hacker’s hands. “Also make sure that you have a good anti-virus software running at home. If you have a computer virus on a home computer, you may accidentally bring it to work on a thumb drive or through email you forward,” says Birge. “IT is good at what it does, but that doesn’t mean we can catch everything before it creates a problem.” In addition to strengthening your passwords on webmail sites like Google+ or Yahoo, if you frequent popular social media sites, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, on your home computer, consider changing those passwords on a more regular basis and make sure they are strong passwords. Consider using the security available within those social media sites by not making your profiles public to all. Be choosy in who you “friend” so you are not a target in the future. “Hackers can see cookies and browsing history and gain access to your passwords from those social sites,” said Bliss. “You need to be as careful on your mobile device as you are on your personal computer. You can be hacked and all of your contacts can be violated. It is very important to change your passwords on your mobile devices as well as not storing passwords in your phone.” As far as email goes, remember to not open any attachments from unknown sources. If the email appears to be from a source you do not know, trash the email before opening. The more cautious you are about your cyber security, the less a hacker is going to gain from you. April 2014




District News Headquarters

District 1, cont.


District 1


Promotions and Transfers

David Holeton, Laramie Maintenance.

Photo courtesy District 1

Kim McLees, Patrol-Support ServicesOperations; and Christina Spindler, Traffic.

Service Awards Photo courtesy District 1

Janice Burlew, Planning-Local Government Coordination – 35 years; Dalene Call, Highway Safety – 30 years; Dennis Byrne, Aeronautics-Division Administration – 20 years; Kevin Hibbard, Budget – 20 years; David Peel, GIS/ITS – 20 years; Ryan Fisk, IT-Engineering Applications – 10 years; Kathleen Kinney, Highway Development-Photogrammetry/Survey – 10 years; Susan Hopkins, Highway Project Management-Oversight – 5 years; Renee Krawiec, Driver ServicesTraining – 5 years; Rebecca McOmie, GIS/ITS – 5 years; and Christopher Mitchell, Motor Vehicle Services-Registration/Title – 5 years.

With nearly 35 years of service, Laramie Maintenance Foreman Dave Holeton, has decided to retire. Good luck to you Dave, you will be missed. Holeton is pictured here with District Engineer Pat Persson (right).

Cheyenne 1062 – Mervin Breazeal took his last FOS test, administrative procedures, and is now a WYDOT Certified Master Technician.

Ed Knight with his 15year service award.

Photo courtesy District 1

Photo courtesy District 1

Photo courtesy District 1

Gary Bohl, Cheyenne Construction – 25 years; Alan Branscom, Laramie Maintenance – 15 years; Edward Knight, Laramie Mechanics – 15 years; and Tyler Chapman, Rawlins Patrol – 10 years.

Photo courtesy District 1

Service Awards

Kathleen Kinney, center, receiving her 10-year service award from Highway Development Engineer Tony Laird and Photogrammetry and Surveys Program Manager Curtis Clabaugh.

To Zach Gutierrez of Project Development on the sudden passing of his wife Mekenna.

Laramie 1061 – Matt Mayfield (left) passed his electrical, hydraulics and rigging test; Derek Zimmer is now has his electrical certification.

Gary Bohl, center, receiving his 25-year service award from Tom DeHoff (right) and Wayne Shenefelt. Photo courtesy District 1


Lt. Kelly Finn, Division P, receiving the Patriotic Employer Award for his support of Trooper Regina Schulmeister during her deployment with the U.S. Naval Reserves.

Rawlins 1063 – Ed Ecker is now certified in administrative procedures.




April 2014

District 2

Promotions and Transfers

Promotions and Transfers

Rex Kelson, Muddy Gap Maintenance; Wesley Keyser, Casper Maintenance; and Patrick Varland, Douglas Mechanics.

Shad Welling, Driver Services-Regional District 3.

Service Awards

Service Awards

Wesley Shafer, District 2 Maintenance Staff – 10 years; Kevin Blantz, Douglas Maintenance – 5 years; and Aaron Meidinger, Casper Construction – 5 years.

District 4

District 3

Thomas Izzo, Jackson Maintenance – 15 years.

Welcome Robert Wise, Gillette Maintenance.

Promotions and Transfers Gerald Jowett, Traffic Striping; and Shelly McDonald, Sundance Port Of Entry.

Retirements Augustine Franzen, Gillette Driver Services.


Service Awards Rick Dowdy, District 4 Support – 40 years. Photo courtesy Lt. Jason Green

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Division ‘T’ Supervisor Lt. Jason Green presenting Eric Loveland with an extra mile award. “He works on our fleet here in Pinedale and is out of the Afton shop,” says Lt. Green. “I have watched Eric arrive in Pinedale week after week and get straight to work on the equipment needing attention. No matter how busy he is, I have never caught him without a smile and positive attitude.”

District 5

Welcome Robert Craft, Basin Maintenance

Promotions and Transfers Brian Pittman, District 5 Maintenance Staff; and Rodney Webb, Worland Construction.

Service Awards Thomas Adams, Lander Patrol – 30 years; Cathy Titmus, Thermopolis Construction – 25 years; William Martell, Lander-Traffic Striping – 15 years; and Robert Perkins, Lander Mechanics – 10 years.

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Photo: WYDOT

February and March Service Award Recipients

Service award luncheons are held by the Transportation Commission for employees celebrating milestones of 25 years of service or greater. Service award recipients at this month’s luncheon: Janice Burlew and Robert Alles.

Bob Perkins and Frank Hancock. Bob is the Lead Mechanic for the Lander shop and just got his 10 year award - Frank is the DES in district 5

Retirements Nick Fleek, Basin Maintenance; and Joseph Holloway, District 5 Maintenance Staff. April 2014




Family & Medical Leave Act There seems to be some confusion about the need for Family and Medical Leave (FML). As you may be aware, family and medical leave is an act which was passed at the federal level giving protection to both the employee and the employer. As a state agency, WYDOT is required to offer and place employees on FML, if they are eligible. It is important for employees or supervisors to contact our office if they have questions about using FML.

Where do I go to learn more about FMLA?

Please contact your Human Resources representative to learn more about FMLA. Your representative is available to assist you in determining if you have experienced a potential FMLA qualifying event. Human Resources will also provide you with appropriate paperwork to request the leave. The following information is provided to give you a basic understanding of FMLA.

What is FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to provide eligible employees up to 12 work weeks (480 hours) of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for certain family and medical reasons.

Who is eligible for FMLA?

To be eligible for FMLA, an employee must meet the following criteria: • Employee must be employed 12 months (employment need not be continuous, previous service counts); and • Employee must have worked 1,250 hours in preceding 12 month period (actual hours worked).

When is FMLA used?

FMLA can be used when an employee has experienced any of the following: • The employee’s serious health condition; • To care for the serious health condition of a spouse, child, or parent; • The birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care; • A qualifying exigency arising from a spouse, child, or parent being on active duty or called to active duty status in support of a contingency operation as a member of the National Guard or Reserves; or the covered service member has a serious injury or illness; or • Employee is on Worker’s Compensation due to a work-related injury.

How is FMLA a benefit to employees?

FMLA benefits an employee by: Providing protected leave – no adverse employment actions taken for use of FMLA; • Approved leave cannot be interfered with or discouraged; and • An employee continues to receive the state insurance contribution even if the employee reports fewer than 80 hours worked or leave time used. •

• • •




April 2014


Please Note:

An employee should provide 30 days advance notice if leave is foreseeable, otherwise, as soon as practical; Sufficient documentation will be required to support the request for leave; and Human Resources will send correspondence notifying the employee of their rights and responsibilities and a designation notice to inform.

Photo: Bruce Burrows

Photo: Lon Pfau

just a little stuck operator Dan Hahn was Lander heavy equipment He allegedly . der Lan ve r Louis Lake abo in the snow and ice nea w, entering insno g issues when he’s plowin doesn’t have the same councilman. city der Lan a as g ets, or servin formation into Agile Ass

his buddy A curious mountain sheep poses for the camera while by Bruce knows better and scampers off. These sheep were spotted east miles four 1 189-19 U.S. of side the on Burrows of Public Affairs of Hoback. The Hoback River is seen in the distance.

Photo: Andrea Allen

Photo courtesy Dan Hahn


nning picture es snapped this stu

White shag isn’t always a bad thing. These mountain goats are feelin’ groovy in their shaggy coats two miles east of Alpine on U.S. 26-89. Bruce Burrows stopped to watch this herd graze on the hillside.

Photo: Lon Pfau

Photo: Bruce Burrows

n Resourc Lon Pfau of Huma ht. of a barn owl in flig

Cole Allen, 10-year old son of Project Developm ent Engineer Andrea Allen with Highway De velopment, shot his firs t pheasant this fall in an event put on by the Pine Bluffs Pheasants Forever Chapter.

with their razor-like talons. This Raptors land so gracefully atop a perch Lon Pfau. by mid-landing pose was caught digitally

April 2014




17 Mile Road Right-of-Way Team to receive leadership award WYDOTs 17 Mile Road Project Team will be recognized with a national award for its work on right-of-way issues during the final reconstruction of the Wind River Reservation project completed last fall. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will recognize this group of state and federal workers and Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribal transportation officials with the 2014 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Excellence in Right-of-Way Leadership Honorable Mention Award. Receiving mention for their work on the 17 Mile Road project include WYDOT’s Right-of-Way Program in Cheyenne, Shoshone and Arapaho Department of Transportation, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Kevin Lebeda of Cheyenne (WYDOT), and Wind River Reservation residents Letitia Black (BIA), and Howard Brown, Wildene Trosper, Colette Friday, Nadine Vasquez, Nicole Brown, and Emily Underwood all of the Shoshone and Arapaho DOT. “Leadership qualities were magnified by everyone on the team,” said Tim Payne of Northern Engineering and Consulting of Arapahoe, who wrote the award nomination. “In order for all right-of-way issues to be resolved, every individual at one time or another spent a remarkable amount of energy, effort, perseverance and commitment to the greater good of the team.” Award winners will be recognized during the AASHTO

Agenda: Registration: Registration closes April 11, 2014




April 2014

Rogers Training Room

Photo courtesy Cody Beers


Subcommittee on Rightof-Way, Utilities, and Outdoor Advertising Council Control conference in Salt Lake City on April 27 to May 1. “The FHWA Excellence in Right-of-Way Awards recognizes outstanding innovations that enhance the right-of-way professional’s ability to meet the challenges associated with acquiring real property for federal-aid projects,” said Gloria M. The four 17 Mile Road Project Team members (from left), including Leticia Black of Shephard, associate administrator for planning, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Colette Friday, Nadine Vasquez and Wildene environmental and realty Trosper, all of the Shoshone and Arapaho with the Federal Highway Department of Transportation. Administration in Washington, D.C. “This award recognizes the WYDOT Shoshone and Arapaho Right-of-Way team’s success in being the first federally-funded project in Wyoming that used tribal forces to reconstruct a roadway on a reservation. The team members were self-starting, motivated and excellent team players; their leadership skills allowed them to successfully produce documentation to complete right-of-way agreements for the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ approval. ... Thank you for supporting a strong right-of-way program in Wyoming.” AASHTO is a standards setting body which publishes specifications, test protocols and guidelines which are used in highway design and construction throughout the United States.

Noteworthy Cheyenne – The WHP considers highway safety its highest priority and has partnered with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, United States Department of Transportation and more than 40 other state law enforcement agencies to participate in the nationwide “Drive to Save Lives” campaign. The goal is to reduce highway fatalities nationwide by 15 percent in 2014. More than 33,000 deaths occur each year on the nation’s roads. Highway fatalities rank as one of the top 12 causes of death in the United States and it is the leading cause of death among teens. To decrease highway fatalities in Wyoming, WHP will lead a sustained effort over the course of the year focusing on the use of seat belts and speeding, along with targeting impaired and distracted drivers. The campaign will also include enforcement actions against the unsafe driving behaviors of the operators of large trucks and buses. Seat belts are the most effective safety feature and have helped save thousands of lives. Sadly, one in five Americans fail to regularly wear a seat belt while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Speeding greatly reduces the driver’s ability to slow a vehicle when necessary or to steer safely around an unexpected curve, another vehicle or hazardous object in the roadway. Alcohol affects those skills essential to operating a motor vehicle: balance and coordination. “Demonstrated poor driving behaviors such as speeding, distracted and impaired driving or the simple task of not buckling up, require our immediate attention and should never result in the loss of a life,” said WHP Colonel John Butler. Join the “Drive to Save Lives” campaign by buckling up, paying attention to the posted speed limits and don’t drink and drive. Together we can all make a difference.

Lincoln Highway on PBS

Photo: WYDOT

Patrol partners with IACP in the “Drive to save lives” campaign

WYDOT Archaeologist Julie Francis moderated a panel discussion in Cheyenne on Feb. 26 featuring Tom Manning, producer of “100 years of the Lincoln Highway,” a documentary on the first coast-to-coast automobile road and its impact on Wyoming. The program premiered on Wyoming PBS on March 9 and continues to air periodically on the station.


WYDOT loses retirees Kalasinsky and Shapley

Ed Shapley, a long-time road designer for the old Wyoming Highway Department (WHD), died Feb. 27. He was 72. Shapley, who was raised in Pine Bluffs, started with WHD in Cheyenne in 1963. He worked in a number of Project Development design squads at headquarters until his resignation in Shapley early 1991, when he relocated to Phoenix, where he resided at the time of his death. After moving to Phoenix, Shapley worked for HDR Engineering, from which he retired after taking part in design of the new Hoover Dam bridge just outside Las Vegas. Funeral services were conducted March 6 in north Phoenix.

WYDOT Retiree Joe Kalasinsky of Casper died Feb. 27. He was 80. Kalasinsky was a District 2 construction engineer for more than 20 years prior to his retirement in June 1995. He first worked for the agency as a rodman on an Kalasinsky engineering crew based in his native Sheridan. Subsequent duty stations included Kaycee, Moorcoft and Gillette and he went on to serve as a project engineer in Laramie, resident engineer in Cheyenne, and construction staff engineer at headquarters. Kalasinsky attended schools in Dayton and Sheridan, graduating from Sheridan High School in 1951. He attended Sheridan College and spent two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a radar technician. He completed his bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wyoming in 1959. Funeral services for Kalasinsky were conducted March 14 in Casper, followed by interment in Sheridan. April 2014




Briefs continued from page 7

Riverview Road asphalt removed Riverton – The asphalt driving surface of Riverview Road between Augusta Drive and Rein Road was removed midMarch as part of continuing highway improvements on the $2.8 million project in Riverton. Removal of the asphalt driving surface was necessary to allow prime contractor Jerry Bornhoft Construction, Inc., to continue installation of water and sanitary sewer lines under the existing roadway. The contractor continues its work near the new Riverton Valley Irrigation District canal crossing, which the contractor was scheduled to finish around April 1. Riverview Road will be straightened with an improved, safer intersection being constructed at the bottom of Hill Street. The Wyoming Transportation Commission awarded the Riverview Road project to Bornhoft Construction last July.

Extra Mile

AWARDS Congratulations to our February recipients! WYDOT salutes the following Director’s Extra Mile Award recipients. The award is presented to individuals who have traveled the “extra mile” in service to WYDOT. Mark Allen Thomas Bennett Paul Cortez Joe Trujillo

Anthony Abeyta

Randy Ringstmeyer

Ron Ellis

Ed Orr

Eric Loveland

Matt Gribble

Jeff Lee

James Evenson

Gilbert Abeyta

Andrew Wallerstein

Michelle Norden Mike Bowen For more information about the Extra Mile Award or to nominate someone, contact Janet Farrar at or Mel Anderson at

Training ata Glance Total number of employees: as of Jan. 27, 2014


One month ago


One year ago





Here are upcoming training opportunities from WYDOT University and the Transportation Learning Network (TLN) Date Class Location Apr. 1-4 New Supervisors Orientation Cheyenne Apr. 4 Ultra-Thin Whitetopping Materials, Designs and Construction Concepts TLN Apr. 8-9 Warm Mix Asphalt: Mix Design, Construction and Performance TLN Apr. 10 Pavement Markings for Maintenance Employees TLN Apr. 11 ADA – Designing, Constructing and Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities TLN Apr. 15 Introduction to Project Management Concepts TLN Apr. 16 Construction Project Management/Contract Administration TLN Apr. 16 Surviving and Thriving in the Workplace Cheyenne Apr. 17 Laughing Your Way Thru Stress Cheyenne Apr. 22 Dealing with Difficult People WYDOT Only TLN Apr. 23 Tractor Operator Safety: Roadside Mower Training TLN Apr. 24 Replay! Basic Full Depth and Partial Depth Concrete Pavement Repair Methods TLN Apr. 29 Shale Oil Exploration and Production Impacts on Roads TLN Apr. 30 MBTI & Teams Cheyenne Coming up in May: May. 1 NEW! Team Dynamics and Collaboration Cheyenne May. 5 Automated Pavement Distress Data Collection Round-Table Discussion TLN To register, or to find out more details, call the Training Program and talk to Jim Boyd (777-4791), Rhonda DeLeeuw (777-4790) or Kurt Borgaard (777-4792).

April 2014

Letters continued from page 2

WYDOT employee goes the extra mile for traveler On March 15 between mile marker 20 and 25 sometime around 10 a.m., we were involved in a roll-over accident on I-25 northbound. The snow plow operator, Mark Papke, stopped to make sure everyone was okay and helped us get help. We wanted to thank him but he was back making the road safe for others before we could say thank you. Please recognize this operator for his kindness and consideration for all of us involved!

Ashley Krug

District 2 flagging help extremely appreciated I would like to personally thank the District 2 striping crew and the Rock Springs engineering crews for providing traffic control and/or flaggers for our drill crews. Geology’s field crews travel the state 50 of the 52 weeks a year and at times our work requires us to be on the road. Mark Williams, Ty Miller and the rest of the District 2 striping crew, as well as Christina and Jessica from Clint Lockman’s crew and Cherie from Leslie Ranta’s crew, specifically helped us out when we needed help. Thank you to these wonderful people who understand that teamwork is the key to making WYDOT a better place to work.

Kirk Hood, P.G. WYDOT Geology


WTDEA member spotlight on Diane Archerd “I always support WTDEA,” says Archerd. “I have been a member of WTDEA and a WYDOT employee for 38 years.” Last month, Archerd began her 39th year with the agency in her current work group of more than 25 years, Procurement Services. She is a Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) and a senior buyer for WYDOT. Currently, Archerd Archerd is the only CPPO in the state of Wyoming. Archerd, who is a lifetime member of WTDEA, has served on District 4 and District 1 boards throughout her membership. She has served as officer in the roles of president and secretary. “My skills were better served as secretary and I held that position for several years,” said Archerd. “I enjoyed it so much.” In past years, she was a member of the state board for two years, but not consecutively. Although she did not hold office while on state board, she made sure she would attend if someone else couldn’t attend so her district would always have representation. “I encourage everyone to get involved in some capacity with WTDEA, regardless of how small it may seem,” said Archerd. “It all makes a difference. WYDOT is one big family and we are there for each other. That is demonstrated each and

every day.” One of Archerd’s fondest memories of serving on state board was the time the meeting was held in Cheyenne and then Gov. Ed Herschler and first lady Casey Herschler invited the WTDEA state board and the Transportation Commissioners over to the governor’s mansion. “We got to visit with the governor and the commissioners in a relaxed setting, discussing employee issues and just having casual conversations,” Archerd said. “To have the governor invite us to his house was such an honor and a thrill.” Archerd started her career with WYDOT while attending Sheridan College. She worked as a WHP dispatcher until all communications jobs were relocated to Cheyenne and her job was eliminated. She transferred to Laramie where she worked in the Finals Office, at UW and as a dispatcher for WYDOT in the winter months for the maintenance crews. She eventually became the district maintenance clerk in Laramie and later on applied for a buyer position in Purchasing, which is now Procurement Services. She is currently working on a Business Administration degree from Laramie County Community College. Archerd, a Wyoming native raised in Sheridan, enjoys reading, camping, fishing, hanging out at the lake with friends and family, and riding her ATV. “I love riding and playing in the mud.”

WTDEA headquarters annual Spring Festival returns The WTDEA is proud to present the second annual Spring Festival on April 4, at the Cheyenne Moose Lodge. A barbecue-style dinner, carnival games, raffles, silent auctions and a dessert bar with soft serve ice cream are just a few of the highlights attendees will experience. All proceeds from this annual event will fund the WTDEA HQ Chapter’s Grant Assistance Program. The GAP is a member benefit for nearly anything, given that it is not political or illegal, to enhance the lives of WYDOT employees, spouses, children, stepchildren or grandchildren. The Spring Festival is open to the public. Bring family and friends to join in on the good food and good times.

April 2014




A FREE checking account that pays YOU?! We’re with you.

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April 2014


Colorado Rockies tickets from Toastmasters!

The WYDOT Roadmasters chapter of Toastmasters will be giving away two club level tickets to the June 7th Colorado Rockies game vs. the L.A. Dodgers at their June 2nd meeting.

Break Time

Let’s play STRIMKO! The object of the puzzle is to fully fill in the given grid with missing numbers observing three simple rules. You place numbers 1-5 into a 5 x 5 grid. Each row, column and connected stream of circles must contain the numbers 1-5. Each row, column and connected stream of circles must not repeat a number 1-5. Sudoku players: this game is very similar to Sudoku. Check your answers online at:, or if not able to access the employee site:

Easy Strimko 174 3

To enter for the ticket giveaway, just attend a meeting of Roadmasters. Attendees will receive an entry for each meeting attended, until the day of the drawing.



Roadmasters meets every Monday at 12:05 p.m. in the second-floor WYDOT U classroom of the Planning building. Please contact Mike Hand (777-6153), Sherman Wiseman ( / 777-4190) or Brian Rentner ( / 777-4048) for more information.

5 © The Grabarchuk Family. All Rights Reserved. More STRIMKO puzzles as Permission is granted for personal use only. This puzzle may not be duplicated for any kind of profit.

Retiring from WYDOT?


Or, just need to submit a new address so you don’t miss a single issue of Interchange? Mailing address: Give us your name and address and we’ll be sure to put you on our mailing list. Please fill in, cut out and return this slip to WYDOT Public Affairs Office, 5300 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82009. Or, e-mail Carlie Van Winkle at

April 2014





Wyoming Department of Transportation 5300 Bishop Blvd. Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009-3340 Address Service Requested

Drive Safe Wyoming

Pre-sorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Cheyenne, WY 82009 Permit No. 24

April 2014 Interchange  

April 2014, Vol. 42, Issue 4. April issue of WYDOT's employee news magazine.

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