Interchange February 2018
Charting a new course
Plans to expand commercial air service
Destinations New state payroll policy now in effect By Gregg Fredrick, Chief Engineer Many of you may already have heard of a change in the way the state will pay some of its new employees. I want to explain the new policy and its impacts to our employees. During the November State Employee Compensation Commission meeting, a change in state policy requires all newFredrick ly hired, non-exempt employees to be hired at an hourly rate rather than a monthly salary rate. This new policy became effective Jan. 1 and is applicable to all state agencies including WYDOT. Non-exempt employees are those who are eligible to receive overtime. Because it applies to new hires, the majority of you will not be affected by this policy change. However, many supervisors will hire new, hourly employees and will need to explain the policy so new employees understand what hours are included in their monthly pay. The policy DOES NOT affect current non-exempt employees who started before Jan. 1, and it doesn’t affect any current employee who may switch positions within WYDOT or moves to another state position, as long as there is no break in service. Further, the policy does not change the accumulation of approved overtime, the pay rate for overtime hours worked or the employee benefits currently outlined in other state policies. The policy does not affect how an employee reports their time but it does affect when hourly employees report their time and when supervisors approve the hours
worked. Non-exempt employees are paid for all hours worked between the 16th of the previous month through the 15th of the current month. Payroll processing deadlines will remain the same, which means payroll will only have one to three days to process hourly pay. Processing hourly pay can only be done once the information is entered into the payroll system. Hourly employees will need to ensure their hours worked are entered into the payroll system no later than the 15th of each month, and supervisors will need to approve hourly employees’ time sheets on the 16th. This will ensure hourly employees are paid on time and correctly. New hourly employees will be paid on the last business day of the current month for the hours worked and reported from the 16th day of the previous month through the 15th day of the current month. Human Resources will inform supervisors of the requirements so they can ensure each hourly employee is paid correctly. However, if a supervisor has any questions, I encourage you to visit with our human resources personnel for any clarifications. By switching non-exempt employee to an hourly rate, WYDOT and the other state agencies will significantly reduce the possibility of an overpayment in wages upon the resignation or retirement of an employee. Also, agencies won’t have to seek reimbursement from these employees or back out pay retroactively after payroll shuts down. Remember, the staff is always available to answer your questions. Stop by, send us an email, an interoffice note or go on ONE WYDOT and ask your questions. Make sure to include #HeyGregg, so I can readily address these. n
Vol. 46, Issue 2
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, Wyoming, 82009-3340. The Public Affairs Office may also be contacted by sending an email to email@example.com
Staff WYDOT Director: William T. Panos
Public Affairs Manager: Doug McGee
Carlie Van Winkle
Contributors: Aimee Inama J.L. O’Brien Carlie Van Winkle Matt Murphy Jeff Goetz Stephanie Harsha Ronda Holwell Cody Beers Sgt. Kyle McKay
Photography: Rick Carpenter
Public Affairs Public Affairs Public Affairs District 1 District 2 District 3 District 4 District 5 Patrol Public Affairs
Be sure to check out the online version of Interchange at http://issuu.com/wydot.pao or click on the link found on the employee’s internal website home page.
A WYDOT PUBLICATION
Features 8 Return to winter driving; be cautious Donâ€™t pass plows
10 Charting a new course Plans to expand commercial air service
15 Right of Way Handles all real estate business for WYDOT
Also in this issue Destinations..............................................................................2 District briefs.............................................................................4
By the Numbers.......................................................................5 Noteworthy..............................................................................13 TechNotes................................................................................17 Wellness...................................................................................17 Awards......................................................................................18 Extra Mile Awards..................................................................18 Training.....................................................................................19 Letters...................................................................................... 20 District news.......................................................................... 20 Passings................................................................................... 23 Break Time.............................................................................. 27 On the cover:
A commercial jet taking off from a Wyoming airport. Photo: Rick Carpenter
Kindly recycle this publication after reading. February 2018
District Briefs CHEYENNE – Motorists will soon experience a smoother ride along a section of Interstate 80 near Rawlins. The Wyoming Transportation Commission awarded Kilgore Companies (Lewis & Lewis Inc. of Rock Springs) an $8.7 million contract to resurface 6 miles of interstate between Rawlins and Walcott Junction in Carbon County. The commission awarded that and four other contracts totaling $15.7 million during its meeting in January. On I-80, the Wyoming Department of Transportation is having the section resurfaced because it’s showing signs of wear. Crews will work on one lane at a time, with traffic head-to-head. WYDOT officials anticipate crews will start work on the eastbound lane first. For the bridge work, crews will resurface the bridge deck and reconstruct about 300 feet on each side leading up to the bridge. The contract completion date is Oct. 31, 2019. Other contracts the commission awarded included road surfacing, railroad crossing upgrades, chip sealing and other road work. Knife River, of Cheyenne, was the low bidder, at $3.3 million, for an asphalt resurfacing contract on US 16 near Buffalo and WYO 136 near Riverton totaling 16 miles. Crews will use equipment that will chew up the existing material and mix it with another material which will bond it together. Then, crews will reapply the material to the roads and smooth it out. Crews will also install fencing, a web camera and weather sensor on US 16. The contract completion date is Oct. 31, 2018. Bituminous Paving Inc., of Odesa, Minnesota, won a $2 million contract for chip seal work on several roads in northeast Wyoming.
Crews will apply the chip seal material to the roads to provide better friction for motorists and to protect the surface from moisture so the pavement lasts longer. The contract completion date is Aug. 31, 2018. The commission also awarded contracts for: • $1.4 million to Kilroy, of Afton, for stockpiling of salt and sand for winter maintenance in southwest Wyoming by May 31, 2018; and • $90,515 to Simon Contractors, of Cheyenne, for railroad crossing upgrades on Howe Road near Laramie in Albany County by April 30, 2018.
WHP and WYDOT kept roads open and travelers safe during recent storm CHEYENNE – Winter Storm Jaxon resulted in 177 crashes, caused several road closures and made travel challenging for motorists in Wyoming. The Wyoming Highway Patrol responded to 65 crashes on I-80, 32 on I-25 and 80 on the other roads in the state during a 40-hour period. The crashes began around 6 p.m. on Jan. 20 through 10 a.m. on Jan. 22. “The dedicated men and women of the Wyoming Highway Patrol worked hard to ensure the traveling public was safe during Winter Storm Jaxon,” said WHP Col. Kebin Haller. “We appreciate their dedication and professionalism to serve and protect the public each and every day and especially during these types of events.” Out of the 177 crashes, 30 of them were commercial vehicles. During the storm, troopers performed about 19 crash investigations during the middle of the night. WHP dispatchers also responded to a higher call volume. Dispatchers had about 2,576 incoming and outgoing calls because of the storm. Out of those calls, 922 events were created. Dispatchers also made about 677 outgoing calls for wreckers and troopers, and made return calls. Wyoming Department of Transportation snowplow crews were out maintaining roads and keeping them open. How-
Commission awards $15.7 million in highway contracts in January
ever, there were times when WYDOT had to close some roads intermittently because of winter conditions and crashes. “WYDOT’s snowplow crews worked hard keeping the roads clear and safe for our traveling public,” said WYDOT Chief Engineer Gregg Fredrick. “We are lucky to have such dedicated men and women working long hours during adverse weather conditions to make sure the traveling public can get safely to their destinations.” The storm produced snow, blowing and drifting snow, windy and icy conditions and poor visibility, making travel unsafe.
Winter Storm Jaxon caused several road closures and resulted in 177 crashes during a 40-hour period.
Light trailer advisories alert motorists of possible blow over risks CHEYENNE – When high wind speeds make traveling treacherous, WYDOT may issue travel restrictions for vehicles prone to blow overs. WYDOT will implement a closure to light, high-profile vehicles if an area has wind gusts of 60 mph or greater and if there’s signage to indicate the limited closure. Vehicles included are moving vans, campers, recreational vehicles, small trailers and empty or lightly-loaded commercial vehicles. “We put these advisories into effect for public safety,” said Lt. Dave Wagener, of the Wyoming Highway Patrol. “When wind speeds are blowing that high, high profile vehicles and light vehicles including commercial trucks that are towing light and empty trailers can become an extreme hazard.” This closure helps prevent light, high profile vehicles from blowing over and
creating accidents or secondary incidents. When those vehicles get blown over, they can end up in the ditch or the median. However, they can also block a travel lane, causing the road to be closed to all traffic. WYDOT and WHP don’t have a specific weight that makes travel safe for light, high-profile vehicles when advisories are in place, as it’s difficult to determine at what wind speed and load weights trucks will blow over. Nor is there a statutory definition of what a light, high-profile vehicle is. As a result, officials ask drivers of those types of vehicles to heed the closures and stay off the road. If a driver fails to obey the closure, they can be found in violation of state law and subject to a fine of up to $750 and 30 days in jail. Watch a video from the Wyoming Highway Patrol about the dangers of blow overs and what can happen. Besides the closure to light, high-profile vehicles, WYDOT has several other advisories it can implement when weather conditions aren’t ideal. Extreme blow-over risk closure WYDOT will implement an extreme blow-over risk in area where wind gusts are 60 mph or higher, and where there isn’t adequate signage to indicate a closure to light, high-profile vehicles. Vehicles included in this closure are moving vans, campers, recreational vehicles, small trailers and empty or lightlyloaded commercial vehicles. Blow-over risk advisory WYDOT will post blow-over risk on roadside electronic message boards when wind gusts are greater than 50 mph with any road condition. This advisory includes trailers of any size (commercial and non-commercial), recreational vehicles, other vehicles loaded with light materials or empty or high-profile vehicles. Drivers who fail to comply with the blow-over risk advisory and are involved in a crash may be subject to a fine and can expect to pay the cleanup costs and fees. No unnecessary travel During this advisory, roads are open but travel is not recommended due to hazardous driving conditions. This advisory is posted during winter months when the roads are extremely icy, visibility is limited due to blowing snow or when a combination of conditions
makes travel ill-advised. Motorists should only travel during “no unnecessary travel” advisories in the most urgent situations. Motorists also should be familiar with local conditions and be experienced with winter driving. Oversize loads are not allowed to travel if there’s a “no unnecessary travel” advisory in place.
New Year’s weekend nets 18 drunk drivers; no serious or fatal crashes CASPER – As part of a county-wide, multi-agency DUI enforcement operation over New Year’s weekend, Natrona County law enforcement arrested 18 drunk drivers from Dec. 29 and Jan. 2. During the fourday operation, area law enforcement made 372 traffic stops, issued 15 speeding citations, eight seat belt citations, 125 other citations and issued 160 warnings. There were no traffic fatalities reported in Natrona County. Natrona County law enforcement agencies worked together as part of a traffic enforcement operation for 2018. The New Year’s holiday weekend operation was the first of at least six planned operations in Natrona County for the upcoming year. The next operation is scheduled for Super Bowl™ weekend. The purpose of these operations is to reduce fatal crashes in Natrona County through enforcement of impaired driving and seat belt laws. Focused enforcement efforts will be aided by a media campaign that will stress law enforcements zerotolerance stance on impaired driving and commitment to seat belt enforcement. Agencies staffing the Natrona County operations include the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Casper Police Department, Natrona County Sheriff ’s Office, Mills Police Department and the Evansville Police Department. Partners in the campaign include Wyoming Medical Center Injury Prevention Traffic Safety and Wyoming Department of Transportation. Along with this enhanced enforcement
Total number of employees: As of Jan. 10, 2018
One month ago
One year ago
WHP Total number of highway fatalities: As of Jan. 25, 2018
One year ago
Briefs continued on page 6 February 2018
Briefs continued from page 5
effort, the Wyoming Highway Patrol is urging drivers to help keep Wyoming’s roadways safe by calling the Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately (REDDI) hotline number at 1-800-442-9090 to report suspected drunk drivers. Callers should be prepared to provide the dispatcher with a description of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel.
WYDOT installs new wildlife crossing signage on Broadway
Peru Cutoff Bridge reopened Photo: WYDOT
JACKSON – Commuters and motorists in the Jackson area are seeing new LED deer warning signs. WYDOT replaced two original static deer warning signs with newer, LED-lit warning signs that are programmed to come on at night 30 minutes before sunset and 30 minutes after sunrise. The new signs are in response to a collaborative effort between WYDOT, Teton County, town of Jackson and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation to reduce wildlife collisions and improve driver safety county-wide. The LED deer signs are a part of a comprehensive approach to addressing wildlife collisions. The installation of the signs follows the reduced speed limits on Broadway and an educational media campaign promoting ways to avoid collisions with wildlife. “These signs should make all motorists unfamiliar with the area aware and alert to avoid the potential conflict with wildlife. These signs also supplement the reduced speed limit. Right now the signs are programmed to come on nightly yearround, but in the future they could be adjusted for specific months of the year where there has been historically a higher crash trend with wildlife. The crash data seems to indicate that January through February show the peak occurrences,” said District 3 Traffic Engineer Darin Kaufman. WYDOT is asking local drivers and commuters to take note of the new signs, be aware of their surroundings and take extra precautions during dawn and dusk hours.
Illegal littering along US 191 prompts Wyoming Highway Patrol to investigate.
New LED-lit wildlife signs near Jackson have been installed to help reduce vehicle vs. wildlife collisions.
Illegal dumping on US 191 being investigated ROCK SPRINGS – WYDOT and the Wyoming Highway Patrol are looking into a case of illegal dumping at milepost 529.5 near Miller Mountain on US 191. Crews from WYDOT noticed a stack of tires and other miscellaneous garbage left at the Miller Mountain turnout. Highway Patrol responded and is currently investigating the illegal littering. “It may seem like it’s not a big deal, but when someone dumps something out there, it can become covered in snow and frozen. Then it is a hazard to our snow removal equipment and even the traveling public,” District 3 Maintenance Engineer Tory Thomas said. Littering charges can carry a fine of up to $750 and six months in jail, as well as up to 40 hours of community service. In addition, if the property was illegally obtained, charges could escalate to wrongful disposal of property – which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
ROCK SPRINGS – WYDOT and contract crews from DeBernardi Construction Co. opened the Peru Cutoff Bridge over the railroad on County Road 4-37 near Green River Wrecking and Salvage Yard. The closure began in July 2016. The old bridge was removed and a new bridge was constructed. Crews will be back in the spring to put a sealer on the deck and to do some seeding work. “Traffic should still be able to access the bridge during that work in the spring,” Lockman said. WYDOT has been working with the Sweetwater County Engineering Office to identify deficient bridges in Sweetwater County and the Peru Hill county bridge was noted as in need of replacement. Sweetwater County applied for funds
s S tate E mployee
up Retirement Gro Gather with other state retirees monthly.
SERG meets at noon the second Monday of each month at the Cheyenne Radisson. Contacts for further information:
Roger Nelson – 634-1881 Ron Labreque – 632-8240 Donella Marrs – 635-5858
speed limit at this location will remain in effect through the winter.” Contract completion date is May 31.
Fremont County law enforcement officers arrest 13 drunk drivers during New Year’s weekend
Crews prepare to reopen the Peru Cutoff Bridge at the end of December.
Winter shutdown begins west of Cody on rock removal project CODY – A $1.68 million rockfall mitigation project west of Cody has shut down for the winter. The project involves removal of more than 10,000 cubic yards of rock above the highway, includes removal of loose rock through scaling and installation of rock bolts and rockfall barriers. “The suspension of work is based on current weather conditions,” saidWYDOT Resident Engineer Todd Frost of Cody. The project work is between mileposts 44.39 and 45.37, which begins about a mile west of the long tunnel on US 14-1620 and ends at the long tunnel. Prime contractor on the project is Wilson Brothers Construction of Cowley. “Once this work is complete, traffic delays will end until March when project work resumes,” Frost said. “The 30 mph
RIVERTON – As part of a countywide, multi-agency DUI enforcement operation at the beginning of the year, Fremont County law enforcement arrested 13 drunk drivers between Dec. 29 and Jan. 2. During the fourday operation, area law enforcement made 275 traffic stops, issued 32 speeding citations, one seat belt citation, 72 other citations and issued 188 warnings. No traffic fatalities were reported over the holiday weekend in Fremont County. Fremont County law enforcement agencies came together as part of a county-wide, multi-agency, traffic enforcement operation that has been in operation since 2016. The purpose of the operations are to reduce fatal crashes in Fremont County through enforcement of impaired driving and seat belt laws. Focused enforcement efforts will be surrounded by a media campaign that will stress law enforcements zero-tolerance stance on impaired driving and commitment to seat belt enforcement. Agencies staffing the Fremont County operation include the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Lander Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff ’s Office, Riverton Police Department, Shoshoni Police De-
partment, Wyoming State Park Rangers and the Wind River Police Department. Partners in the campaign include Injury Prevention Resources and Wyoming Department of Transportation.
Pedestrian bridge south of Riverton closes for the winter RIVERTON – A pedestrian bridge has closed for the winter along All Our Relations Pathway south of Riverton. The bridge is at the pedestrian pathway where it crosses the Little Wind River between the city of Riverton and Beaver Creek housing. WYDOT heavy equipment operator Shane Pugh said the bridge was first closed in February 2017 when ice buildup under the pedestrian bridge damaged one of the bridge piers. Until October, pedestrians were required to cross the Little Wind River on the existing WYO 789 highway bridge. The pedestrian bridge was reopened temporarily in October 2017, then it closed in late December due to the onset of winter weather and buildup of ice around the damaged bridge pier. Pedestrians are again required to cross the Little Wind River on the existing WYO 789 bridge. n
from a WYDOT program called BROS, or Bridge Replacement Off System funds, where counties can apply for financial and construction assistance to replace deficient bridges. WYDOT awarded this job to DeBernardi Construction Co. in 2016 for $1.3 million.
The pedestrian bridge over the Little Wind River has been closed for winter due to ice buildup around the bridge piers.
Return to winter driving is reason for caution; don’t pass plows By Cody Beers, District 5 Snowplow drivers are asking for help from citizens following a handful of near misses already this winter involving citizens’ vehicles and snowplows. Driving near snowplows requires care and patience, and snowplow drivers are reporting risky behavior from drivers this winter, including passing the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s new tow plow in Fremont County, passing other trucks and tailgating. WYDOT snowplows are out on the highways every day and many nights, and WYDOT employees are attempting to provide a safe, high quality and efficient transportation system for the citizens of Wyoming. WYDOT deploys many bright yellow snowplows when battling snow storms, and when working the roads, these plow trucks have amber, red and blue flashing lights mounted on top of the cab and on the back of the sanders. These snowplow professionals need cooperation from drivers so they can do their jobs and keep the road safe for drivers. Give them room to operate. “Stay well back from operating snowplows,” said WYDOT District Maintenance Engineer Lyle Lamb of Basin. “They are spreading sand and anti-icing and de-icing chemicals on the roadway. It’s always a good idea to stay back from snowplows while their operators are doing their jobs.” Snowstorms this winter haven’t yet brought deep snow to northwest Wyoming’s valleys. “Our guys have been out there spreading sand and using salt brine to break up ice,” Lamb continued. “Please drive on the areas where sand the chemicals are being applied. This driving behavior helps break up the snow and ice. Please understand what our guys are doing, and please, don’t pass the plows.” With limited visibility, snowplow drivers can’t see vehicles behind them if the vehicles are too close to the plows. As the old adage goes, if you can’t see the plow driver’s mirrors, he/she can’t see you. “Remember, the safest driving surface is behind the plow. If you must pass, don’t pass on the right into the plume of snow being moved,” Lamb said. “Be sure on two-lane highways that you have plenty of time to pass. Keep a close watch, these huge plows often stir up their own whiteout conditions while doing their work.” A tow plow was used extensively for the first time last winter in the Riverton and Lander areas, and other parts of the state. A second tow plow in northwest Wyoming will be assigned to the Cody and Powell areas this spring. Lamb said the tow plow is a trailer mounted, 26-foot plow that is
towed behind a 10-wheeled plow truck. It has the capability of plowing and treating the highway with salt brine on an entire additional lane of roadway at normal highway speeds when completely deployed. The entire trailer unit shifts to the right, using movable axles on the trailer unit as well as hydraulic controls between the truck and trailer. It can take the place of another plow truck by allowing one truck to plow two lanes of roadway, or a single lane of roadway and an eight-foot shoulder.” Goals for operating a tow plow during the past two winters on Fremont County highways include improved highway safety and snow-plowing efficiency. “The tow plow does the work of two trucks, and it has proven effective in Fremont County. The problem we’ve had early this winter is citizens passing the tow plow while it’s operating,” Lamb said. “Our drivers have even reported citizens passing the tow plow on the right side of the highway while it’s discharging snow from two lanes of highway in the same direction. It’s unsafe and could result in a costly crash where someone could be seriously injured, or worse yet, the person could die.” Snow plan helps WYDOT set priorities WYDOT maintenance crews have a plan of attack during winter storms. Limited resources require priorities to be made. A snow removal plan goes into action during storms, creating a prioritized list of routes based on traffic counts and school bus routes. This plan is divided into four levels: high volume, medium volume, low volume and closed. The snow plan is available at www.wyoroad.info. This website can also be used to access road and travel information, including web cameras and road closure information. High volume roads are plowed up to 24 hours a day, and usually consist of interstate highways and urban routes, such as Interstate 80 in southeast Wyoming. Medium routes are plowed to keep them passable and reasonably safe, and are a secondary priority to high volume routes. Low volume routes are only serviced after high volume and medium volume roads have been cleared, and are only plowed during daylight hours. Closed refers to seasonally closed roads, where the cost of keeping them clear outweighs their use. Exceptions to the plan include school bus routes, which are plowed at least twice a day, regardless of their priority. WYDOT uses liquid de-icers and anti-icers to battle ice on roads In the course of winter maintenance, WYDOT treats roads with liquid de-icers and anti-icers to keep ice bonding to our roadways, or to remove the ice if it has already formed. These mixtures include salt/sand, liquid salt brine, magnesium chloride and beet juice. When snowfall can be predicted, some of these chemicals are sometimes applied to roads before storms to help keep snowpack from accumulating, and to assist with the removal of snow after the storm. “We try to prevent the snowpack from forming, but we can’t always do that. Chemicals do help with the removal of the snowpack after the storm,” Lamb said. Other chemicals are used continuously to help battle snowpack and icy conditions. “We do what is called ‘pre-wetting.’ This is where we use a salt/sand mixture that has been pre-wet with a chemical, usually salt brine (salt mixed with water). This helps the sand stick to the road,” Hallsten said.
Salt, or sodium chloride, is the most common and cheapest tool for fighting ice. Salt has an important role in ice removal. Using salt on roads lowers the temperature at which ice will melt, and helps to prevent the formation of ice at lower temperatures. But when temperatures drop below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, salt becomes ineffective. Another compound, GeoBrine, is another WYDOT tool for battling ice on the highways. Also known as beet juice due to its association with sugar beets, the sticky, red solution is composed of 60 percent salt brine and 40 percent beet juice, which give it the red color. GeoBrine is often used as a preventative action when roadways are pre-wetted prior to storms. Salt brine freezes at 6 degrees below zero when mixed properly, while GeoBrine freezes at 26 below zero. Beet juice works by basically stopping the ice and snow from bonding to the pavement during the storm, which allows WYDOT maintenance workers to plow off excess moisture easier and quicker, which clears roads faster. Pre-wetting roads helps WYDOT to provide safer conditions for drivers during the storm as well. This helps maintenance crews from spending excessive amounts of time chipping ice off highways throughout northwest Wyoming. Supplementing beet juice mixtures in WYDOT’s battle against icy road conditions allows ice and snow to melt at lower temperatures, and also provides a preventative coating on the highways which lasts longer, giving crews a chance to get more snow and ice of the roads in a timely manner. “We try to prevent the snowpack from forming, but we can’t always do that,” Lamb said. While research verifies fewer accidents occur on treated highways, these de-icers and anti-icers can be sprayed up on vehicles from tires and wind. “After storms, we’d suggest washing your vehicle to minimize the long-term effects of these chemicals,” Lamb said. n
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By J.L. O’Brien “charting a new course” for Wyoming’s economy, a council created to provide recommendations for diversification of the state’s economy named improving and expanding Wyoming’s commercial air service a top priority. The group, Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming (ENDOW), released a list of 10 recommendations Jan. 2. A $15 million funding request to expand commercial air service in the state was at the top of the list. ENDOW’s report recommended support for a commercial air service plan the Wyoming Department of Transportation proposed in August. The report said: “Commercial air service is a significant limiting factor to expanding and diversifying Wyoming’s economy … Wyoming must be aggressive in finding a solution that will support attracting and retaining reliable air service. Air service is critical to supporting businesses, residents, and entrepreneurs.” The new air service proposal in the form of a capacity purchase agreement originally came from a series of meetings from a working group of Wyoming leaders, which was later presented to WYDOT’s Aeronautics Commission by Aeronautics Administrator Amy Surdam. A capacity purchase agreement could give the state more ability to decrease local airfares, improve service hours for flights, and flights would be less likely to be late or canceled, Surdam said. Airfares in Wyoming are higher than neighboring states and 27.9 percent higher than the national average, meaning Wyoming customers are paying excess airfare of $100 million each year. The average flight costs: ■ $215 nationally; ■ $171 in Colorado; ■ and $275 in Wyoming.
Photo: Rick Carpenter
Surdam said these issues lead to a high leakage rate – the rate at which people leave the state to access commercial air services. Wyoming’s rate is around 50 percent. Surdam said a capacity purchase agreement, which is common in the aviation industry, would be a contract with one carrier to provide commercial air service throughout the state. The goal would be to have air service continue out of all commercial airports up to three times daily to one major hub. The ENDOW report quoted William Swelbar, Chief Industry Strategist, Delta Airport Consultants Inc., as saying: “With the exception of Jackson, Casper and Gillette (and potentially Cody), Wyoming commercial air service is vulnerable by virtually any metric that is important to sustainable air service.” In other cities in Wyoming, carriers may come and go. Allegiant Air announced in September it will stop providing service out of Casper in January. Great Lakes Aviation announced it would end service from Riverton to Denver on Nov. 1. Sheridan lost commercial air service for a few months in 2015 when Great Lakes stopped providing service, which was later picked up by Key Lime Airlines. Commercial air service in and out of Worland discontinued completely in the last year when the city lost Essential Air Service funding from the USDOT, and Great Lakes stopped providing services as a result. This new air service proposal would help address the difficulty some municipalities have in keeping commercial services, it would also address the high cost of continuing to fund air service under the current model, said Surdam.
Currently, the department would need to spend $35 million over the next 10 years for service to be maintained at current levels with use of the Air Service Enhancement Program (ASEP). While ASEP has been successful – increasing air traffic in Wyoming 47 percent since its inception in 2004 – Federal Aviation Policy and UAS Program Manager Sheri Taylor told the working group programs at a, Aug. 23 meeting in Casper that other states have taken notice of the Wyoming program’s success and may start setting up their own. If other states implement similar programs to ASEP, Taylor said Wyoming could end up in a bidding war that the state cannot win. Surdam said the new proposal would cost the state less than continuing the current model at $28 million over the next 10 years. Thirteen million dollars of that is already available under current appropriations and would be important to maintain for growth markets in communities such as Cody and Jackson. The $15 million ENDOW recommended would cover the remaining needed funding for a capacity purchase agreement in primary markets such as Riverton, Rock Springs and Sheridan, which have one route to a major hub. The media release from ENDOW titled “Chart New Course” represents the first steps in long-term efforts, according to ENDOW Chairman Greg Hill. “Actions that must be implemented now include opportunities to grow and diversify our education and workforce training opportunities, improve our infrastructure and develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem that nurtures and retains Wyoming talent,”
The new proposal would cost the state less than continuing the current model at $28 million over the next 10 years.
Continued on page 12 February 2018
Continued from page 11 Hill said in the release. The full preliminary report classifies the expansion of air service as part of its “focus on infrastructure.” Additional preliminary recommendations from ENDOW included: • Improve Access to Broadband and Technology ($10,350,000 funding request) • Provide Equitable Opportunities for Students to Learn Computer Science (no funding request) • Improve Higher Education Attainment and Retention of Graduates (no funding request) • Allocate Resources for Workforce Training (investment request pending discussions) • Building Wyoming’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem by creating a dedicated organization called Startup:Wyoming ($5,000,000 funding request) • Establish a Wyoming Research and Innovation Fund ($6,000,000 funding request) • Establish In-State Contractor Preference for State Technology Contracts (no funding request) • Authorize Virtual Currency Businesses to Operate in Wyoming (no funding request) • Update ENDOW Statute to reflect the composition of the Executive Council or the leadership structure adopted by the Executive Council (no funding request)
Photo: Rick Carpenter
In addition to these 10 recommendations, the Executive Council included its support of efforts to encourage research and development of Blockchain, Vertical Take Off and Landing technology, and renewable, wind energy development which are considered to have high potential for diversifying and differentiating Wyoming’s economy. A full copy of ENDOW’s report can be found at www.endowyo.biz.
“The hard truth is diversifying our state’s economy for the long-term is going to take some investment – investments we believe strongly will pay dividends for future generations of Wyoming citizens,” Hill said in the release. “We should not embark on these efforts unless we fully understand they will be multi-year and multi-million dollar undertakings. If we are not prepared to act decisively and commit for a significant period of time, we are wasting time and money.” In 2018, the Executive Council will be evaluating how to position Wyoming as a global competitor in a number of areas to drive future economic growth. Actions will include putting in place key enablers such as greater access to capital, enhanced government policies and structures, and more active state marketing programs. It will also include actions to drive future economic engines - areas of opportunity based on Wyoming strengths, business trends and expertise. In the coming weeks, the Executive Council will be undertaking a thorough comprehensive public engagement process to garner feedback from key stakeholders on these preliminary recommendations. “This is a marathon – not a sprint,” said Bill Schilling, former president of the Wyoming Business Alliance and Wyoming Heritage Foundation, in the release. “The work of ENDOW is really just beginning. Wyoming has unmatched potential when it comes to our people, resources, beauty and grit and ENDOW will work to foster it all.” Air service generates $1.4 billion in economic activity in the state annually and supports more than 12,000 jobs, according to a 2013 Economic Impact Study for Wyoming Airports prepared by ICF International, Kramer Aerotek and Jviation. The 2013 study indicated 90 percent of businesses rely on commercial airline service, and many businesses factor in air service when determining where to locate. The study found that 38,000 non-aviation jobs in the state had improved efficiency through the use of air service. n
By J.L. O’Brien The New Year started out on a high note for the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s State Photogrammetry and Surveys Engineer, and he has yet more big plans for the end of the year. Curtis Clabaugh was awarded emeritus member status on the Committee for Geospatial Data Acquisition during the 97th Annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) Meeting Jan. 7-11 in Washington D.C. Clabaugh had been serving on the committee, and the emeritus member awards are given to those who have make long-term, outstanding contributions and commitments to the committee. Emeritus members can remain active, and Clabaugh plans to. However, he’ll soon have to pay out of pocket. Clabaugh said he’s making plans for his replacement and to retire at the end of 2018. Clabaugh has given 42 years of service to WYDOT, working in construction for 17 years before becoming State Photogrammetry and Surveys engineer. The University of Wyoming graduate is a professional engineer, professional photogrammetric surveyor and has fundamental of land surveying registra-
Going out on top
Nancy Whiting, TRB Staff Member, and the committee chairman Bradley Foltz present Clabaugh with emeritus certificate of appointment on the Committee for Geospatial Data Acquisition during the 97th Annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) Meeting.
tion as part of additional coursework beyond his bachelor’s in civil engineering. His time at WYDOT has included a number of innovations. Wyoming was the first state to fully implement fully digital surveying and data collection and was the second state to fully implement a digital aerial camera. The honor of emeritus status on the TRB is no small feat. Criteria for being awarded emeritus member status include serving for 18 years and serving as chairman during your tenure. Clabaugh served two terms as chairman and has served for 19 years. He is currently the chair of the subcommittee for small unmanned aerial systems. “You’ve got to step up and do things,” he said. “I don’t believe anyone from the state of Wyoming has gotten this far. Only about 300 people are emeritus. … It’s a fantastic honor.” But, Clabaugh said, he shares the
Q: If you don’t like it, why don’t you quit?
A: If I don’t like it, why don’t I sit here and figure out how to change it?
Continued on page 14 n
Continued from page 13 honor with the department. “It’s great that WYDOT can send people to these things,” he said. “I’ve learned more there and met more people who allowed me to learn more than anything else.” Clabaugh shares his experience by presenting at various conference, including AASHTO and WASHTO. He’s made dozens of presentations nationally, internationally and locally. He sees making presentations here in the state and within WYDOT a responsibility to repay the department for sending him to conferences. “If your agency is going to allow you to do these things, you’d better bring something back,” he said. “Making those presentations is how you give back to the department.” Clabaugh said that making the presentations is also how the department shows leadership in the state. “The reason I do it – it’s painful – it’s great outreach for WYDOT to be there,” He said. “It shows what WYDOT is doing, and it helps keep people informed and doing the right thing.” It’s not all painful, Clabaugh said. “It’s a lot of fun to do these things,” he said. “I always have people saying, ‘Man, can I get your slides?’” But Clabaugh gives credit to others.
CLI C IT K
“A lot of that came about is because of what’s going on at WYDOT,” he said. He said he’s worked with a lot of good people during his time here and is thankful for the opportunities and to feel that he worked someplace that he had the opportunity to contribute. He recalled one conversation in which someone told him: “If you don’t like it, why don’t you quit.” Clabaugh, unfazed, responded: “If I don’t like it, why don’t I sit here and figure out how to change it.” The Committee for Geospatial Data Acquisition is concerned with applications of high-accuracy geospatial data acquisition technologies in support of the digital infrastructure for design and construction of transportation facilities. Clabaugh is also a member of the American Society of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing and has served as chair for the Transportation Surveys Committee four times during his 24 years as a member of that group. Clabaugh plans to continue to be involved as much as he can after retirement. “When you do this all your life, you can’t just stop,” he said. “I don’t know if I can do that.” n
E V LO U Y R E EV IVE DR
BUCKLE UP FOR THE ONES YOU LOVE 14
By J.L. O’Brien
uch of the work done by the Wyoming Department of Transportation is detail oriented.
WYDOT’s ROW handles all real estate business for the department of transportation. And that can be a great deal of work. In the 2017 fiscal year, the program acquired 208 parcels for department business. ROW Program Administrator Kevin Lebeda said the program’s 29 employees get involved any time that the department needs access to land, and their work inRight of Way Program Manager Kevin Lebeda cludes valuations and (left) and Project Manager Roy Weber.
Photo: Rick Carpenter
Plans and language must be exact. There may be perhaps no place within the department that this is truer than the Right-ofWay Program (ROW).
land descriptions for which details make a big difference in the department’s ability to do business. Lebeda said access may be temporary or permanent. If the department needs permanent access for construction, ROW arranges the purchase of the property. ROW also handles purchases for shop sites, rest areas and other offices, essentially meaning ROW has a role in the success of most WYDOT’s projects and missions. Sometimes, the department only needs temporary access to land during a project. In those cases, instead of arranging the purchase of the real estate, the ROW Program can request permission from the landowner for the department to be on the land for a certain amount of time, which the department calls construction permits. Additionally, ROW handles leases for the department. Sometimes, Lebeda said, the real estate doesn’t need to be purchased, like in the case of some of the department’s more sparsely populated drivers’ license offices or Highway Patrol sites. For the upcoming WyoLink project to add 16 towers to the communication system, Lebeda said some sites will be purchased while others will be leased. While the department leases land for its purposes, ROW also handles leasing out land that WYDOT has acquired through projects that it no longer leases. ROW’s property management services, in addition to handling leases, also dispenses of remnant real estate procured during construction projects. “If we buy a house, for instance, we may sell it or demolish it,” Continued on page 16 February 2018
Photo: Rick Carpenter
The Right of Way program enjoyed a team building “luau” in their office with the help of the magical photography skills of Rick Carpenter. From left: Harland Edmonds, Ty Zwonitzer, Roy Weber, Chris Rehm, LeRoy Everitt, Jim Wasson, Vince Cavanaugh, Mark Stogsdill, Ken De Jersey, Scott Henderson, Rick McKee, Kevin Lebeda, Craig Alexander, Daryn Kramer, Heidi Martin, Kori Cruz, Amy Lambert, Kyle Shook, Lauren Spelts, Dana Wood, George Dale, Kayla Foster, Mark Corbridge, Lee Burns and Nicki Cotton. Pat LaCroix is not pictured.
Continued from page 15 Lebeda said. “Any excess land can be sold or abandoned to an adjacent landowner.” He said that some land, mostly isolated, small pieces of land, are abandoned because they are so limited in who can access and use them. “If there is a marketable value, we sell it,” he said. In some cases, land is given to city or county government for public use. For instance, Lebeda said that when the interchange was moved as part of the Sheridan marginal project, the old interchange and surrounding real estate was given to the city of Sheridan. Lebeda said ROW can handle all aspects of a real estate purchase. WYDOT surveyors oversee language for real estate contracts, engineers write legal descriptions of what needs to be purchased to provide documentation to landowners, and appraisers research the market before an offer is made on the property. Lebeda said ROW uses a series of checks and balances to ensure accuracy and give landowners the best offer the department can while balancing good stewardship of state resources. WYDOT is a one-offer agency. “We appraise it and give you the best first offer, which alleviates the need for land owners to be good negotiators,” Lebeda said. “We do our due diligence.” To ensure that an appropriate valuation is offered for property, he said assessors use state and local rules. Lebeda said, while ROW employees work hard to ensure accuracy and fairness, the department also moves quickly on projects, usually requiring around six months from knowledge of a project to acquisition. Sometimes it’s faster, and sometimes landowners may not want to sell or sell at the offered price. “In the event that a landowner is against a project or valuation, the last resort for a project is necessary,” Lebeda said. WYDOT can peruse eminent domain, in which the department petitions the courts to force the sale of the property for public use. Lebeda said the state uses eminent domain in less than 1 per-
cent of land acquisitions. “We will continue to negotiate as long as possible to avoid court,” he said. The department works hard to ensure that the public is not negatively impacted by projects, and in addition to ensuring it makes competitive offers on property, Lebeda said the department also offers relocation services through the ROW program. “In the event that we displace a landowner, we offer assistance,” Lebeda said. That assistance may take a number of forms, but he added the department “leaves them in as good or better condition” than when the project started. Lebeda said this may require the department help owners find comparable property to purchase, help relocate businesses, and even help renters who are displaced. In the case of renters, the department starts by finding and showing similar properties. But the department is also required to ensure safe and sanitary conditions for displaced renters. Lebeda said this means the department will find better housing for the renters. If the renters cannot afford it, the department will pay the difference for “actual reasonable and necessary” rental assistance for up to 42 months. The department also has an employee relocation assistance program, run through ROW. The program was designed to get the best qualified individuals into the hardest to fill locations. Lebeda said the department had to find a way to incentivize those jobs, but the program’s use fluctuates depending on the resources the department has to run it. Some lesser-known functions of the ROW Program include relocation services for employees and ensuring that roadways are not littered with advertising or potential blights like junkyards. The department is tasked with these responsibilities as part of the Highway Beautification Act, championed by first lady Lady Bird Johnson in 1965. As part of that, Lebeda said ROW regulates billboards around the national highway system, permitting them and ensuring they are in compliance. The department has similar responsibilities for junkyards near the roadway. n
TechNotes Patches, we don’t need no stinking patches ... or, do we? By Dan Tolman, IT Program Manager We’re all familiar with the routine security patches released by software vendors. Sometimes they are installed in the background without us even knowing. Other times they are a little more invasive, requiring us to reboot our computer systems. How important are they really? Is the world going to come to an end if the patch isn’t installed right away? Perhaps these are some questions you have asked yourself when burdened by these security updates. A recent and large scale example of how important these patches are can be found with the 2017 Equifax data breach in which personal information on over 140 million Americans was stolen. The following quote can be found in an internet article at https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/equifax-data-breach-learn/ “Equifax was attacked through a vulnerability in the Apache Struts web-application software,” said Steven Weisman, a lawyer and college professor who teaches White Collar Crime at Bentley University. “A patch for the particular vulnerability exploited had been issued in March and the breach did not occur until May. The lesson is a simple one. Whenever security updates are issued they must be installed as soon as possible. The delay on the part of Equifax was inexcusable.” While the world didn’t come to an end, this event has already
Weathering cold and flu season By Carlie Van Winkle Following the holiday season, there is not much besides bitter cold temperatures and wind before spring arrives. Until then, we are stuck with cold and flu season. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy.
Wash your hands often
Washing up with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds will help prevent the spread of germs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you could sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while sudsing up your hands. This 20 seconds of warm-water, sudsy goodness should help to rid your hands of any stray germs. A good rule of thumb should be to wash your hands prior to the handling of any food, before exiting the restroom, before and after caring for someone who is sick and especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hands.
If you are nowhere near a sink with soap and water, never fear. You can slow the spread of germs by applying hand-sanitizing gel to your hands. Make sure the gel you have is at least 60 percent alcohol and use enough to cover all surfaces of your hands while rubbing in.
cost Equifax over $80 million with an estimate of $56 -$110 million in additional expenses on the horizon (http://www.zdnet. com/article/equifax-spends-87-5-million-on-data-breach-moreexpenses-on-deck/) While proper data security is implemented in multiple layers, one of those critical layers is keeping systems up to date with the latest security patches. If you believe your system is not being properly updated please contact the helpdesk and be part of the solution to a growing problem. n
Disinfect common surfaces
Using disinfectant wipes will help keep areas in your workspace germ free. Wipe down computer keyboards and the mouse, telephones, all desk surfaces and arms of your desk chair. Doorknobs are also a favorite germ resting spot, so wipe those as well. At home, wipe down children’s toys, writing utensils, telephones and remote controls with disinfectant wipes each day to avoid the furtherance of germs.
Blow your nose
Cold symptoms typically include mucus-filled sinuses. Blowing your nose will expel the mucus and help your body fight the bacteria. Sniffling the mucus back into your head will prolong the symptoms of your cold.
Keep a healthy lifestyle
Eating nutrient-dense foods and staying hydrated is a major player in keeping your body running in prime condition. Remember the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” There is much truth to eating whole foods, especially ones packed with vitamins and minerals, so load up on fruits and vegetables. Chicken soup is a personal favorite, especially if it is homemade. Drinking green tea or herbal varieties has been known to soothe a sore throat and keep you hydrated at the same time. Add a bit of honey to the mix and you have a tasty, time-tested, coldslaying winner. Keep up with moderate activity. Studies have shown that daily moderate exercise boosts the body’s immune system. A 20- to 30-minute walk is all that is needed for your daily dose. n February 2018
Photo: Rick Carpenter
GO AHEAD, MAKE US JEALOUS!
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: (From left) Tom Anglund, 40 years; Debbie Sherman, 35 years; Mark Stogsdill, 25 years; Kimm Brookshire, 25 years; and Neil Thomas, 25 years.
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.
For more information about the Extra Mile Award or to nominate someone, contact Katherine Castaneda at Katherine.Castaneda@wyo.gov. 18
le Afte yc
Susan Jenn Dave Johnson KC Knowles Kaylee Lonn Trent McKinley Jerry Melneck Tom Michelena Jay Nelson Russel Stewart Albert Wilson
Tom Anderson Charles Bowen Katherine Bradfield Mike Christensen Clinton Davis Brayden Deguilio Jamie Dickerson Jeremy Frisbit Ed Golson Dennis Halpain
ease Re c Pl
Congratulations to our December recipients!
Training I hope you’re WELL By Jim Boyd, Training Services The new WYDOT Employee Learning Library (WELL) is scheduled to launch on Feb. 5, and if you haven’t explored it yet, I encourage you to log in using the desktop WELL icon and browse through the learning and development opportunities here at WYDOT. We’re excited about the WELL, both for what it means right now, as well as what we envision it to grow into. Currently, the WELL contains mostly WYDOT University learning events (both classroom and video conference courses through TLN), but the future for the WELL and WYDOT is exciting. Here are some things to look forward to:
Program specific training
We’ll be working with other WYDOT programs to get their learning events and e-Learning into the WELL. Our vision is one stop shopping for Equipment training, Safety training, Google training and more.
One of the most exciting features with the WELL is the opportunity to connect e-Learning from other providers. One of the first things we’ll work on is to incorporate the Transportation Coordination Council’s (TC3) content (Maintenance, Construction, and Materials e-Learning) into the WELL. Be on the lookout for more content coming as the year progresses.
Learning Tracks / Plans
The WELL gives us a way to offer training as more than a full day class. Learning Plans can contain multiple learning components related to a topic. One way we’ll use Learning Plans is to reconfigure how we offer New Employee Orientation and New Supervisors Orientation. The WYDOT Pathways Program will eventually replace our brick and mortar New Employee and New Supervisor Orientation programs. For example, with the WELL, we can assign a New Hire Learning Plan (called KNOW WYdot) to a new employee. This Learning Plan can contain e-Learning compliance training, job aids and checklists, as well as classroom based learning events. If there are completion requirements in the Learning Plan, those requirements can be due over time (e.g., within the first 90 days) to help alleviate scheduling conflicts. Learning Plans will also be developed for specific job classifications. Like now, employees in certain job classifications have required training. With the WELL, required training can be automatically assigned to these employees (think of it like a reminder), allowing them and their supervisors the ability to better manage when, where, and how they complete it.
Addition of e-Learning
Finally, we’ll be looking to provide Leadership e-Learning through the WELL. Like our Skillsoft catalog in the 2015 version of the WeLL, we’ll be looking for e-Learning content that can help with your leadership skills, for example, when you need a refresher on how to have a “coaching conversation” with an employee. If you have any questions, or would like to know more, please contact Training Services through firstname.lastname@example.org. n
Training @ a Glance Coming in March: Date Class 3/5/18 3/7/18 3/8/18 3/12/18 3/13/18 3/14/18 3/14/18 3/15/18 3/15/18 3/20/18 3/28/18
New Supervisor Orientation Ethics (Engineering and Business) WY Supervise (New Supervisors & Emerging Leaders) Bridge Preservation by Design – Consideration of Zinc Coated Rebar Nature Tales: Clues to Help in Roadway Design & Maintenance WYDOT as a Learning Organization: Systems Thinking & Mental Models Bridge Paint Inspection MBTI & Change Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Franklin Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Pile Driving Operations for Inspectors
Check out these upcoming training opportunities from WYDOT-U, the Transportation Learning Network (TLN) and the new WELL.
Judgment & Decision Making Vocational Leadership Vocational Personal Effectiveness Vocational
WYDOT-U TLN WYDOT-U Webinar WYDOT-U Webinar
New Supervisor Orientation Personal Effectiveness Vocational
WYDOT-U TLN TLN
District News Headquarters
Thomas Engelhaupt, Cheyenne I-25 Port of Entry; Brett Lavoy, Facilities Management-Custodial; and Michael Salyers, Aeronautics-Flight Operations.
Debra Sherman, Highway Development-Project Development – 35 years; Paul Depew, Highway DevelopmentProject Development – 25 years; Debbie Jones, Driver Services-Policy and Records – 20 years; Christopher Stewart, Port of EntryCheyenne I-25 – 20 years; Gregory Brown, Equipment-Mechanics – 15 years; Ryan Shields, Traffic – 10 years; Anthony Abeyta, Facilities Management-Building Maintenance – 5 years; and James Sandusky, Port of Entry-Cheyenne I-80 – 5 years.
Promotions and Transfers William Murphy, Highway Development-Photogrammetry/Survey; Cassie Pickett, Highway Development-Project Development; and Susan Wilson, PatrolCapitol Service Protection.
Teresa Smith retired on Dec. 9 after working for WYDOT for eight years. She worked as a senior office support specialist for Aeronautics Flight Operations. n
Letters Heartfelt thanks to WYDOT family
Wintertime interstate travel made easier
I want to thank all of you for your support, positive thoughts and prayers since I fell ill in September 2016. As the many months of treatments marched on, you came together in a generous act of compassion and donated many days of leave to me. This has allowed me to focus on my health and my goal of returning to work. I can’t express how much strength your gifts gave me during this time. Based on the input from my doctors, and others, I have decided it is time to retire from WYDOT and solely focus on my health. I want you all to know what an honor it has been to work and develop friendships with you. I have been blessed.
Dear Gov. Mead, On Dec. 24 my wife and I drove from Casper to Cheyenne on I-25, returning to Casper on the 26th. I would like you to pass on a compliment to the men and women of WYDOT on the excellent condition of the road. Snow removal was great. I know these highway workers spent many hours keeping the road open and clear. Please pass that on for us.
My best wishes, Jeff Van Dorn 20
Thank you, John and Carol Mayer Casper
Have a classic? Hot rod? Late model? Two-wheeler?
We want to see them!
Welcome Samuel Buchanan, Pine Bluffs Maintenance; Kristian Cueva, Cheyenne Construction; Shad Pitt, Medicine Bow Maintenance; Dylan Sexton, Laramie Maintenance; Grady Smith, Laramie Maintenance; Molly Smith, Cheyenne Construction.
Promotions and Transfers
Wayne Boyhan, retired from Rawlins Construction on Jan. 4 with 28 years of service to the state. He began his career in Dubois and transferred to District 1 in 1993. n
Welcome Michael Bobrowski, Douglas Maintenance; Darryl Parrett, Douglas Maintenance; Wade Utter, Wheatland Maintenance. Mayfield
Service Awards George Escobedo, Cheyenne Construction – 10 years; Joshua Coley, Rawlins Maintenance – 5 years; Aaron Harper, Laramie Construction – 5 years; and Derek Zimmer, Laramie Mechanics – 5 years. Coley
Promotions and Transfers Ronald Reed, District 2 Maintenance Staff; Ryan Schmitt, Kaycee Maintenance.
Christina Fisher, Cheyenne Construction; and Matthew Mayfield, Laramie Mechanics.
Wyoming and working I-80. But even more importantly, he will be missed by his troopers. Garner served the citizens with pride, distinction and honor. The WHP will be losing a great asset. After his retirement he plans on spending some well deserved time around his home.
Brook Allen received her 10 year service award from District Construction Engineer Mark Ayen (left) and Construction and Field Survey Tech Dave Green.
Shane Powell, Casper Maintenance – 10 years.
Service Awards Chad Aagard, Casper Construction – 25 years; Brooke Allen, Casper Construction – 10 years; and
Congratulations to Alyssa Walker on the successful completion of the Level III Class and becoming a CVSA Level III Inspector at the Casper Port of Entry. n
District 3 Harper
Retirements Robert Garner, retired Jan. 1 from the Wyoming Highway Patrol-Rawlins after 24 years of service to the citizens of Wyoming. Garner began his career in January 1994 when he was stationed in Rawlins. He was a trooper for 12 years in Rawlins before being Garner promoted to lieutenant over the Rawlins division in 2006. Garner loved serving the citizens of
Welcome Jason Morton, Pinedale Maintenance; and Jesse Zumpfe, Pinedale Maintenance.
Promotions and Transfers Keith Fitzgerald, Rock Springs Construction; and Austin Murphy, Wamsutter Maintenance.
Service Awards Ted Wells, District 3 Construction Staff – 40 years; Joshua Newell, Kemmerer Construction – 15 years; and James Thomas, Patrol-Rock Springs District Office – 15 years. n
David Alaniz, Gillette Maintenance; Mark Hetzer, Sheridan Port of Entry; Benjamin Pravecek, Hulett Maintenance; Brian Sheeley, District 4 GIS/ITS; and Rebecca Wetherington, Sheridan Port of Entry.
Congratulations to Bobbie Ballard on the successful completion of the Level III Class and becoming a CVSA Level III Inspector.
Promotions and Transfers
Col. Kebin Haller presented the honored WHP “Rare Breed” Ballard award to Port of Entry officer Joseph Yalowizer.
Service Awards Nick Palmer, Telecom-District 4 Radio Shop – 10 years.
Presentation of the Colonel’s Commendation Award to the Sheridan/Dietz Port of Entry team. Capt. Jason Green provided information to Col. Kebin Haller who presented the award acknowledging the Port of Entry crew for detecting the presence of alcohol on 50 drivers from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017.
Joshua Diede, Moorcroft Maintenance; David Ford, Sheridan Construction; and Russell Merrill, Sheridan Maintenance.
Yalowizer assisted a driver who was in need of medical attention until EMTs arrived at the Port of Entry office. With his quick thinking, Yalowizer instructed others to complete specific jobs which would have proved detrimental to the driver’s health condition. n
Ryan Cheney, Cody Construction.
Service Awards Erik Smith, Lander Construction – 20 years; Guy Grant, Cody Construction – 10 years; and Rick Saylor, Cody Maintenance – 5 years.
Sandra Beisler retired on Jan. 2 from Basin Construction after more than 11 years of service to the state. She celebrated her retirement with fellow WYDOTer, Robin Nichols. Robin Nichols retired Jan. 2 as area
Basin area maintenance supervisor Robin Nichols (left) and Basin construction employee Sandy Beisler retired on the same day.
maintenance supervisor in Basin. Nichols, 63, has supervised the Cody, Meeteetse, Lovell and Basin maintenance efforts since 2010. Nichols and his wife, Kathleen, live in Basin. Friends, family and co-workers were invited to a retirement reception on Jan. 2 for Nichols at the WYDOT mechanics shop in Basin. Since 1996, Nichols has worked in a handful of WYDOT positions, including area maintenance supervisor, heavy equipment operator, maintenance crew foreman, chip seal foreman and maintenance staff technician. He also worked for WYDOT in the winter of 1978-79 as a nighttime snowplow operator in Dubois. He has previous experience with Cowboy Timber Treating, Crowe Logging in Saratoga, Wilson Fencing in Dubois, and the U.S. Peace Corps in Jamaica. Nichols is a 1976 (biology) and 1977 (physical education) graduate of the University of Wyoming. n
Passings Corliss K. Allison
After teaching, Allison worked for the Big Horn County Clerk then on to the Wyoming Department of Transportation. She loved her job and colleagues. Allison will be buried in a private family graveside service.
After a courageous battle with brain and chest cancer, WYDOT Human Resources Technician/District Clerk Corliss Kay Allison, 71, died peacefully at home on Jan. 20. She served the state of Wyoming with pride for many years, earning her 10 year service award in July 2017. In District 5, she was affectionately known as “The District Boss.” Her Allison WYDOT family will miss her and are mourning for her and her family. Allison had so many positive impacts on the WYDOT family. She was truly one of a kind. She was also and a big Wyoming Cowgirls and Wyoming Cowboys fan. Allison graduated from Manderson Hyattville High School in 1964 and the University of Wyoming with a degree in secondary education in 1968. She taught in Shafter, Calif. for three years before returning to Wyoming. She taught at Thermopolis High School for three. She met her husband Tim Allison and they married June 2, 1973.
Carol J. Barnes
Carol Jean “CJ” Barnes, 49 died tragically on Jan. 4 in Lovell. Barnes was born April 1, 1968 in Powell. Barnes began her career with WYDOT in August 1999. She worked in Casper as a transportation technician from 1999 until early 2009 when she became a construction field Barnes survey assistant. In December 2009, she was promoted to a construction field survey technician. She remained in that position until she left WYDOT in November 2013. Barnes was a loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt and remarkable sponsor to those in NA and AA programs. She was an amazing and valuable contribution to her community and a friend to all who knew her. Her enthusiasm and
love for life will be dearly missed. Barnes was married to Lance Wolfe for 11 years. She had a love of her fur babies, horses, gardening, rock collecting and anything of the outdoors. Barnes was aspiring to become an accountant, while studying in Powell at Northwest College. Services were held Jan. 11 at the LDS Church in Cowley and a memorial service in Casper.
Alfred “Ray” Brazell Alfred “Ray” Brazell, 89, died Dec. 25, 2017 in Rock Springs. He was a resident of Pinedale for 50 years and a former resident of Cheyenne. Brazell was born on June 5, 1928 in Baggs and attended schools in Baggs, Rawlins and Saratoga. He was a U.S. Marine in World War II and in 1959, Brazell became a patrolman for Wyoming Highway Patrol. He retired in July 1978 with 35 years service to the state. Passings continued on page 24
click it or ticket. no excuses.
Download and use the free Drive Sober Wyoming smartphone app. drivesoberwy.com February 2018
William A. Harper
Passings continued from page 23 After retiring, Brazell worked for the Pinedale School District as a bus mechanic, then as a reverse flow tester in the Jonah Oil and Gas Field. He was a member of the Masonic lodge and a founding member of Project: Return to Work Inc. (R2W) in 1998. Brazell enjoyed timbering, fishing, hunting, camping, ranching, horses and woodworking. Following cremation, a funeral service will be conducted later this spring.
James R. Harnish James Ross Harnish, Sr., 85, of Cheyenne died Dec. 20, 2017 at Davis Hospice Center. He was born Jan. 9, 1932 in Horse Creek, one of nine siblings. After graduating Wheatland High School, he served in the Army as a musician. He attended the University of Wyoming earning Harnish a Civil Engineering degree in 1956. He was married to Marnie on June 9, 1957 in Cheyenne where they raised their four children. Harnish went on to work for WYDOT’s predecessor agency, the Wyoming Highway Department, for 32 years. He retired from Cheyenne Maintenance as a maintenance staff engineer in September 1988. He was a talented musician and led country western bands for 35 years. He joined the Moose Fraternity after college where he was a devoted member, earning the Pilgrim Degree. His passions were hard work, hunting and fishing, all of which he passed on to his family. Most at home at his cabin, Harnish was an avid outdoorsman and was an expert with a crossbow or fishing pole and knew where the deer and elk were hiding and where the fish were biting. Services were held Dec. 30 at Cheyenne Hills Church.
William “Bill” Arthur Harper, 87, of Sheridan, died Monday, Jan. 8 at Sheridan Veterans Affairs Medical Center after a short illness. Harper was born on Nov. 7, 1930 in Sheridan to Earl Robert Harper and Ethel Maxine Barker Harper. He lived and worked in the Sheridan area his entire life. Harper was Harper very proud of his family history in the Sheridan area. His grandparents arrived in Sheridan in 1886, traveling from Canada along the Bozeman trail. They were able to trade a buggy for 240 acres of land on Pompey Creek in Banner. It is there they started a small cattle ranch and placed their brand H on the first page in the Wyoming Brand Book. His grandfather was a master carpenter and helped to build many of Sheridan’s early buildings such as the Court House and Sheridan Inn as well as numerous homes and barns around the Sheridan area. His great grandfather William Stover was the first county attorney in Sheridan County and both his grandfather and father served as county commissioners for Sheridan County. Harper’s early life was filled with work on the family ranch. His father was crippled from a horse accident so he did a lot of the day to day ranch work. When he was 10-years-old one of his jobs was to make the three-day trip trailing the cows and calves from Banner to their pasture in Ulm all by himself. Harper attended grade school at Red Butte School where it was not uncommon for neighbor ranchers to pull him from class to help trail cattle. This was never a problem as he always rode his horse, Buster, to school and generally kept him close at all times. After graduating from Sheridan High School in 1949, Harper enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served from 1951 to 1955 on the U.S.S. Aludra, a supply ship during the Korean War. His ship was stationed at Pearl Harbor but he spent most of his service in the western Pacific resupplying the carrier ships and escorts off the coast of Korea from supply bases in Japan or the Philippines.
After his discharge from the Navy, Harper came home to Sheridan and cowboyed on various ranches in the area including the Padlock, PK, and the Meade Creek Ranch. It was during this time that he met a young nurse, Shirley June Backer, that turned out to be the love of his life. They were married on Feb. 16, 1957 and were together for the next 60 years. They had two children, Susan and David. In 1970, after working as a cowboy for many years, Harper was hired by the Wyoming Highway department, WYDOTs predecessor agency. He worked in Sheridan until his retirement in 1987 with 17 years of service to the state. During his years with the Highway Department, Harper plowed snow with the maintenance crew, worked on the striping and sign crews. Upon retirement, he remained active in the community driving the Senior Center minibus and delivering meals on wheels. Bill was a lifelong member of the Sheridan Elks Lodge #520. Wherever he traveled or worked he always made lifelong friends. Bill was quick to help a friend or stranger, and quick with a joke. He was well respected for his work as a cowboy and his horse shoeing ability. Bill’s favorite times were spent visiting with friends and family; telling stories about the cowboys and the old days in the Sheridan area. His stories are treasured memories by the many that knew him. A celebration of life with military honors was held Jan. 15 at Kane Funeral Home.
Max Mann Max Mann, 91, died Jan. 15 in Gillette. Mann retired from the Wyoming Highway Department, WYDOT’s predecessor agency, with 25 years of service. He worked in various locations throughout his career including Sheridan, Gillette, Rawlins, Cheyenne, and Laramie. Upon his retirement, Mann Mann was the district equipment supervisor in Laramie. A private family service was held.
Sally J. Meyer Sally Fields Jackson Meyer, 90, died Dec. 2, 2017 at Davis Hospice Center. She was born Aug. 22, 1927 in Demopolis, Ala. She was the valedictorian of her high school graduating class and continued her education for two years at Judson College in Marion, Ala. She went on to complete her Meyer education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a master’s degree. She began her teaching career in the Gadsdon Alabama High School. After completing two years there, she came to Cheyenne High School, later Cheyenne Central High School, where she remained for 34 years, retiring in 1987. She married Duane Meyer on Nov. 27, 1985. Her husband, Duane, is a WYDOT retiree who had worked for the agency in the Materials Lab from 1962-1995. The Meyers were well known around Cheyenne and loved children, so they were the perfect candidates to portray Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at the annual WTDEA Christmas Party. Funeral services were held Dec. 8, 2017.
Fred O. Oyler Winferd “Fred” Oren Oyler, 86, died at home in Cheyenne on Dec. 29. Oyler was born on March 30, 1931 in Ingalls, Kans. His parents moved to Wyoming when he was about five, where his father worked in the ranching business. He graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1949. Oyler Having enrolled in ROTC in high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1949 and was honorably discharged in 1952. He married Elizabeth “Betty” May DuVall on Dec. 5, 1954, in Kimball, Nebraska. They had two sons, Jess and Fred. His first occupation followed in his
father’s footsteps. He worked on the Bell and Hirsig Ranches north of Cheyenne, as well as ranching in Miles City, Mont., for a time until joining the Wyoming Highway Patrol and being commissioned May 7, 1959. His first duty station was Riverton, where he served for five years, at which time he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to Rock Springs in 1964 where he was stationed for four years. A promotion to the rank of lieutenant moved him to Rawlins in 1968 where he lived and worked until he was promoted to the rank of major and re-located to Cheyenne in 1977. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel/Director of the Wyoming Highway Patrol in January 1982, where he served until his retirement in 1985. Not ready to fully retire, however, he returned to his roots and re-joined the ranks of ranching, dabbling in “cowboying” once more and operating heavy equipment to build roads, bridges, dams, etc. on the Polo and Bell Ranches. He also found his way out to the Farthing Ranch to lend a hand there from time to time. He loved the outdoors where he was active in hunting for most of his life. He was still engaged, and usually successfully so, in elk hunting right up to the present. He also enjoyed his ranch days and never lost his touch with a horse. He additionally rode and enjoyed the motorized version, owning and delighting in a variety of motorcycles over the years. He will be much remembered for his special sense of humor and quick wit. A memorial service was celebrated on Jan. 4.
Wilson F. Sellner Wilson Sellner, 82, passed away on Dec. 29, 2017 at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. He was born Aug. 5, 1935, in Faribault, Minn. Wilson served in the U.S. Air Force and was a Korean War veteran. A graduate of Louisiana State University, he also Sellner received a music degree from Laramie County Community College. Wilson retired from the Right of Way
program, where he was a cartographer, after 36 years of service. He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the director of the Cheyenne Civic Concert Band for 25 years and the CFD Parade Committee for more than 40 years, becoming a HEEL in 1995. He also volunteered at the hospital information desk for 11 years.
James O. Wages, Sr. James “Jim” Orval Wages Sr., 73, formerly of Worland, died Jan. 17 in Billings, Mont. Wages was born in Cheyenne on March 19, 1944. He graduated from Cheyenne Central High School in 1963 and then attended the University of Wyoming for 3.5 years as a Wages civil engineering student. During that time, he met his future wife, Leomi. They were married Jan. 1, 1968 and were married for 45 years. Wages began his career with the Wyoming Highway Department as temporary summer help in Laramie before he was hired full time. His most recent position was with the Worland engineering crew. He retired with nearly 40 years of service to the state. Wages was an incredible supporter of his children and their activities. Whether it was 4-H, FFA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, softball, basketball, football, wrestling, soccer, or volleyball, he was there supporting his children in whatever capacity that was needed, be that a personal coach, cheerleader, group leader, driver, or workout partner. As a youth, Wages earned the achievement of Eagle Scout. Through scouts, Jim whittled and built beautiful neck slides. He would use his woodworking ability to create amazing projects from wood dolls to pendulum cradles for his grandbabies. Funeral services were held Jan. 25 at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church followed by burial at Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Worland. n
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Answer to the January 2018 Break Time word scramble:
NWSO S N OW TIFRD D R I F T HAIHYGW H I G HW A Y NIDYW W I N D Y SIKGIN S K I I N G CYI I C Y DOAR R O A D LOWPIGN P L O W I N G FARFITC T R A F F I C LTHAPSA A S P H A L T
NRNEENEGIGI E N G I N E E R I N G ADRIOLAR R A I L R O A D
H A P P Y NEW Y E A R WY DO T Unscramble each of the clue words. Take the letters that appear in boxes and unscramble them for the final message.
Tough Mazes by KrazyDad, Book 18
Need the answer? http://krazydad.com/mazes/answers
Â© 2010 KrazyDad.com
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February 2018 issue of WYDOT's employee news magazine. Vol. 46, Issue 2.