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Interchange a WYDOT publication

February 2013, Vol. 41, Issue 2

Local Government Coordination

Designating scenic byways and much more


Letters Heartfelt gratitude I want to express my gratitude for those who have donated time to me while I have needed to be away from work. It has been a Godsend that I have such a caring WYDOT family who support me so much. I wish for you a Happy New Year that blesses you and your family with health and joy.

Sincerely, Natalie Crawford Public Affairs Office

Thanks, I-80 workers Thank you. I have recently been required to travel from Cheyenne to Rawlins daily. I wanted to express my sincere gratitude to the snowplow crews that work tirelessly on I-80. They are out in full force. It is noticed, and greatly appreciated.

Dennis Howatson

Interchange School district thanks Dear Cody Beers and WYDOT, Thank you so much for choosing our students to represent your Stop for the School Bus When Flashing Campaign. Your continued dedication to the safety of all students is remarkable.

With much appreciation, Fremont County Board of Trustees (Dan Pince, Kristin Benson, Jeff Locker, James Downing) and Diana Clapp, Superintendent

Kudos to I-80 snowplow operators I am writing to express my appreciation to WYDOT for the diligent attention to snowy roads during our recent trip from Utah to Colorado and back via I-80. The snowplow operators seemed to be everywhere, and all of the time. We enjoyed a safe journey thanks to your intrepid crews.

Thank you! Gordon Gibb

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 e-mail to carlie.vanwinkle@wyo.gov

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

Letters continued on page 15

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Also in this issue

Contents

Letters.....................................2 District briefs.........................4

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Training at a Glance............5 Extra Mile Awards................6 HR Happenings..................13

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Teamwork............................15 District news.......................16 Noteworthy..........................19

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WTDEA................................. 23 Passings............................... 24 WYDOT by the Numbers... 26 Break Time.......................... 27

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6 WYDOT out taming winter,

Public takes notice

7 Railroad quiet zones

Progressing on schedule

8 WYDOT’s wellness program 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 Web site home page.

A program to reward healthy activity

10 Local Government Coordination

Dedicating time to local agencies statewide

On the cover: Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. Photo: Rick Carpenter

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District Briefs Troopers participate statewide in heightened DUI enforcement New Year’s Eve

Buy-back contracts saving WYDOT money on equipment Cheyenne – Buying heavy equipment through guaranteed buy-back contracts is allowing WYDOT to keep its fleet updated at an annual cost that is less than if the equipment was purchased outright. The contracts are possible because equipment dealers get a discounted price from manufacturers on equipment they sell to government agencies and heavy machinery, such as front-end loaders, motor graders and dozers, has high resale value. “On our last deal we got our loaders for $117,000,” Equipment Program Manager Bernie Kushnir said. “The dealers can turn around in three years and sell them for $120,000 or $125,000 and a contractor will pay that because normally they’d have to pay $140,000 or something like that for a new loader.”

Cheyenne – WHP placed extra troopers on the state’s roadways during saturation patrols looking for impaired drivers on New Year’s Eve. Extra patrols are carried out by officers assigned solely to look for drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some troopers participated in multijurisdictional programs in their areas, assisting other law enforcement agencies in an attempt to make the holiday period safer for drivers and pedestrians. The purpose of the DUI saturation enforcement campaign is to educate the driving public in regard to DUI laws, to enforce the state’s no tolerance stance towards impaired driving and to remind people that it’s never safe to drive impaired. The funding for this impaired driving campaign for the extra troopers is made possible by a federal grant secured by WYDOT’s Highway Safety Office. The men and women of the WHP urge you to use good judgment, select a designated driver, or seek out other alternate means of transportation if you have consumed alcohol. WHP reports that statewide, nine DUI arrests were made in conjunction with the saturation patrols.

HQ

Photo: Rick Carpenter

HQ

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Loaders are a dime a dozen for WYDOT with available buy-back contracts.

Statewide efforts put a spotlight on drunken driving and nabbed nine drunken offenders.

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WYDOT’s latest contract for articulated wheel loaders stipulates the loaders will be purchased back by the vendor in three years. The buy-back will result in WYDOT getting 27 loaders at an annual cost of $132 per loader. If the loaders were purchased outright, used for 15 years and then sold for a salvage value of 20 percent of their original price, the annual cost to WYDOT would be $6,521 per loader. The equipment comes with a full three-year warranty, and WYDOT is responsible for normal maintenance, such as oil and filter changes. “When I first heard about the buy-

back option I thought this is too good to be true, but I’ve been trying to find the flaw ever since and I still haven’t found it,” Kushnir said. “The savings are substantial and we’re expanding it wherever the application fits. A lot of that depends on the vendors and whether they think in three years they’re going to have a market for this.” The option is offered on heavy equipment because it generally has low usage hours. The new contract requires the loaders to have 1,500 hours or less of use and at least 70 percent of their tire tread left in order to be eligible for buy-back. Occasionally WYDOT has had to replace some of the tires before a buy-back is turned in to the vendor. The loaders are used primarily to fill snowplows with sand-salt mixture for spreading on slick highways. If a loader is being used at a rate that would put it over the 1,500-hour limit, it can be swapped for a loader at a location experiencing a milder winter and lower usage. “We’ve never had any equipment that they wouldn’t buy back,” Kushnir said. The contracts include an hourly charge for usage above the 1,500-hour limit, but that has been used only once. Forty-seven of the department’s loaders, five of its motor graders and one of its dozers are now under buyback contracts, and more will be added as old equipment is replaced. “We’re doing this as much as the vendors allow or makes sense for us,” Kushnir said. “The vendors don’t seem to be backing off. We do ask for a bond at the beginning of the deal of 20 percent of the buy-back price. If they renege on the deal, we would get to keep the machines and get the 20 percent bond.”

Not a typical Trooper crash investigation Medicine Bow – Troopers are called to investigate crashes on a daily basis on Wyoming’s highways with no two crashes ever being the same during

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Photo courtesy Wyoming Highway Patrol

The garage seemed to take the brunt of the damage when an airborne Ford Focus crashed into it.

their entire career. There are however, those crashes that stand out among the many. Just such a crash occurred in early January on highway WYO 487 which runs through Medicine Bow. A Trooper was dispatched to a single vehicle crash reported to be a car crashing into a garage. When the trooper arrived on scene the driver of the Ford Focus passenger car was in the process of being extricated from the vehicle by local fire department personnel. If not the car, the entire garage appears from the photo to be a total loss. The crash investigation has determined that the driver, 63-year-old Steven Richardson from Laramie, was traveling approximately 60-65 mph in the posted 30 mph zone when his vehicle gradually went off the dry roadway on the left side. The vehicle then ramped off the approach of Oak Street going airborne some 76 feet across Oak Street before landing in the garage. Richardson was transported to Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Rawlins and has been cited for driving while under the influence of a controlled substance.

On-ramp at Bryan Stock Trail to Close Casper – After much consideration and supportive feedback from the public, WYDOT will permanently close the I-25 southbound on-ramp at Bryan Stock Trail. The closure began Jan. 31. Barricades were placed at the

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on-ramp entrance. Motorists will now use the Yellowstone Highway on-ramp to access southbound I-25. All other ramps at Bryan Stock Trail will remain open. WYDOT is closing the ramp due to safety concerns such as limited sight distance for those on the interstate and those trying to merge into traffic; short acceleration lane to merge into traffic, and the lack of area to rehabilitate the on-ramp. On Aug. 30, WYDOT hosted a public meeting to discuss plans to close the ramp. Public support has favored the closure. Those who submitted written comments voiced concern over merging traffic and the limited sight distance. There were also concerns about potential delays at the railroad tracks on Bryan Stock Trail. WYDOT is looking at options for an active warning device for I-25 to be placed just before the Bryan Stock Trail exit. This would warn those traveling south on I-25 when a train is present. A date for the implementation of the device has not been set.

WYDOT continues construction work Rock Springs – Although temperatures have dropped to freezing and below, WYDOT will remain hard at work, starting with the preparation phases of the Flaming Gorge Road (US 191 South) I-80 Interchange South Section. Crews will be working under the bridge on the shoulder on I-80 exit 99 (Cruel Jack’s). However, concrete barriers on the shoulders will remain until the project is completed. Traffic will not be disrupted. The Flaming Gorge Road project will consist of a bridge replacement and bridge improvements at the intersection of US 191 South and I-80. The first bridge off Exit 99 that travels over I-80 is scheduled for replacement. The next two bridges traveling south

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Continued on page 25

Training ata Glance

Here are upcoming training opportunities from WYDOT University and the Transportation Learning Network (TLN) Date Class Location Feb 4-8 Feb 12-14 Feb 12-13 Feb 13-14 Feb 20 Feb 21 Feb 26-28

Registration Closed

Registration Closed

Registration Closed

New Employee Orientation #3 (NEO) WISE-R Leading at the Speed of Trust WISE, Part 1 Taking Care of the Customer Dealing w/ Difficult People WISE, Part 2

Cheyenne Cheyenne Cheyenne Cheyenne Cheyenne WYDOT-only TLN Cheyenne

Coming up in March 2013: Mar 5 Mar 6

Dou ble Header

The Practical Coach Improving Your Ability to Deal w/ Conflict

WYDOT-only TLN WYDOT-only TLN

To register, or to find out more details, call the Training Program and talk to David Talley (777-4792), Jim Boyd (777-4791) or Rhonda DeLeeuw (777-4790). When you call, ask about the videos, books and audiotapes available from the Training Resource Library.

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When winter weather threatens, WYDOT answers with positive results While most of the state is at home sitting near the fire on a blustery cold winter’s night, WYDOT keeps running. Maintenance, TMC, WHP and other critical employees are out making sure that the traveling public remains safe on our state highways. The below comments are taken verbatim from the messages left on our 511 Travel Information phone system regarding the road reports for the month of December. Overall, the comments are positive and employees throughout WYDOT should know that their work is very valuable and appreciated by the public. Dec. 4 “Really appreciate you guys being out there in the winter and summer too. Sure appreciate getting a hold of you and you telling us about the weather. Thank you, bye.” (US-30, I-80, WY-287) Dec. 5 “Yeah, I’m a truck driver and I just want to thank everybody who created this program here that we can call in. I use you guys every time I drive through. I think you guys are doing a great job. Thank you.” (I-80) “You guys have the best weather report of any state in the United States. Just wanted to let you know that. I’ve been running these roads for 45 years now and guys keep up the good work. You really help us drivers out a whole lot and God bless you and have a Merry Christmas.” (I-80) Dec. 8 “Yes, I just wanted to tell you, you guys doing a great job. Thanks.” (I-80) “Hey guys this is Richard from Texas, I love this service. It’s fantastic! Anyway you guys have a Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza and all that jazz. Thank you.” (I-80)

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Dec. 9 “Hi, my name is Kevin Lynn. I’m a registered pharmacist licensed to practice pharmacy in Nebraska and Wyoming. I really appreciate the comment you have on your road conditions. I think they are excellent. Please keep up the very good work. Once again thank you very much. Go Wyoming Cowboys. Thank you byebye.” (I-80) “Thank you so very much for your information. You make traveling so easy and I cannot give you enough gratitude for everything you’ve done. Merry Christmas to you all and if I have any questions I’ll leave another one up. Thank you again. God bless.” (I-80) Dec. 10 “Yes, I just wanted to say that this is outstanding and its helped me immensely with my immediate plans to go over to the VA from the Cody/Powell area. Thank you very much goodbye.” (US-14) “Yeah my comment, I’m a truck driver and my comment is I wish every state was doing as well as you are on this. It was very informative report. California in

particular could use some help with their system. Anyhow just calling to give you some kudos and, yeah, it’s always nice to hear good things. Anyhow appreciate the very thorough, informative and I’ll bet ya accurate report they seem like they always are and thank you much! Bye bye.” (I-80) * “You really need to update the weather forecast for highway 70. It’s pretty old and pretty messed up.” (WY-789, WY70, I-80) Dec. 13 * “I just commenting about the way you got it 65 mph and wet. Its dry and I think you better update your program. Thank you.” (I-80) Dec. 15 “Hello, this is a great service, thanks. I don’t know if you’re taking donations or not, but I’d like to contribute. I’m a long distance truck driver through Wyoming and what a great service. Thanks.” Dec. 16 * “Yes, just like to say Wyoming needs to put more salt trucks on the road when it gets like this. Thank you, bye.” (I-80) n

Extra Mile

AWARDS Congratulations November 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. Bill Wilson Laura Steege Kathy Winger Stephanie Olson Janet Fridline Ashley Lee Kristin Burkart Kirsten Rigg Warren Oyler Mike Taylor

Janice Livingston Joann Safford Tina Simpson David “Buck” Wilson David Griffin Doug Drake Philip Flores Steve Oakley Michael Niehay

For more information about the Extra Mile Award or to nominate someone, contact Janet Farrar at janet.farrar@wyo.gov or Mel Anderson at mel.anderson@wyo.gov.


Railroad quiet zone work progressing Work will be completed this year on the first five state-funded projects to create railroad quiet zones at high-volume crossings around the state, and with project costs coming in lower than expected, funding will be available for a second round of projects. Following a decade of rising railroad traffic that increased the frequency of noise at crossings around the state, the 2011 Legislature appropriated $5 million for improvements at crossings in communities most affected by train noise. The five projects under way are in Torrington, Lusk, Newcastle and at two crossings in Cheyenne. Once completed, WYDOT will send a notice to the Federal Railroad Administration requesting the silencing of the horns on the trains passing through the crossings. The five crossings being improved were chosen based on a 2009 study that looked at all Wyoming crossings in communities with more than 100 people and more than two trains a day passing through. “We commissioned a study, looked at the top affected communities as far as number of trains per day, number of crossings in those communities and population, and ranked them accordingly,” said Dan Kline, supervisor of systems planning and railroads for WYDOT’s Planning Program. “We want to make sure that we maintain public safety out there while still providing the quality of life improvement, which is the elimination of the train noise at the public crossing.” The projects can employ a range The diagram to the right depicts the crossings that are being worked on in green and the crossings being considered in orange.

of options to improve safety at the crossings sufficiently to eliminate the requirement that trains sound their horns while passing through. “It could be non-traversable median barriers, it may be fourquadrant gates, it could be a wayside horn assembly where the horn is mounted at the public grade crossing, and that noise directed at vehicular traffic rather than directed up and down the railroad approach,” Kline said. Which option to use was determined through a diagnostic review of the crossings by representatives of the railroads, local communities, Federal Railroad Administration and WYDOT. Local communities are required to pay from 5 to 50 percent of the project cost, depending on the assessed value of the county in which the participating community is located. Moorcroft and Worland have indicated they want to participate in the second round of quiet zone projects, and Douglas is considering the option. – Dave Kingham

Railroad Quiet Zones First Round Projects Newcastle a. Main Street b. Walker Avenue c. Grove Ave./2nd Street Cheyenne a. 24th Street b. Southwest Drive

Lusk

Star Valley Ranch

a. Giffith Street b. 3rd Avenue Torrington a. CR 53D b. Lift Station Road c. Main Street d. C Street e. Radio Road f. CR 47 g. McKenna Road

Being Considered First round projects Worland a. Big Horn Avenue b. Culbertson Avenue c. Howell Street d. Washakie Avenue Douglas a. Robin Lane Road b. Richards Street c. Center Street

Moorcroft

a. Yellowstone Avenue Being considered Pine Bluffs

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a. Main Avenue b. CR 212

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WYDOT’s Wellness Program WYDOT’s Wellness Program is entering its seventh year and participating employees have a menu of three dozen types of exercise from which to choose.

The Wellness program was implemented in 2006 to encourage employees to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine in the interest of promoting better health and well-being. In addition, those who participate on a consistent basis and track their progress earn administrative leave; a.k.a. “comp time.” Employees earn four hours of leave if they complete a minimum of 13 hours of exercise each month, for six consecutive months. State government policy gives each state agency the opportunity to authorize its own wellness program. That means each agency may offer incentives. In WYDOT’s case, it’s administrative leave. Although WYDOT’s Wellness Program is distinct from the state of Wyoming’s “Wyoming on Wellness” initiative, the two programs are interrelated and many WYDOT employees participate in both. (See related article.) WYDOT employees are authorized to use their break times to take a walk or other type of wellness activity. Wellness activities can also be logged before and after work or on weekends. To reach 13 hours a month, WYDOT employees must average about 30 minutes of exercise activity daily. Eligible Wellness Program activities cover a wide spectrum, from walking to swimming to boxing. (Walking is far and away the most popular activity type, accounting for roughly half the total exercise time logged. Aerobics and weight lifting are the next most popular) Information about the Wellness Program is available on the WYDOT Intranet site, under the “Useful Links & Files” tab; link name Wellness_FAQ.pdf within the “Files” section. Employees who already enrolled can use the “Wellness Program” tab under “Useful Links & Files” on the same Intranet page to log exercise times and track their status. Those who are interested in joining or simply learning more about the program can also contact one of the numerous volunteer wellness coordinators listed on the Intranet page. Human Resources also has a listing of Wellness coordinators.

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When WYDOT instituted its Wellness Program, the organizing committee decided to interpret “exercise” as activities undertaken primarily for improving physical fitness or for recreation, as compared to “work” activities. Recreational exercise types must include a significant physical activity component which contributes to improved fitness; the rationale being to encourage employees to adopt active exercise in addition to work done during the scope of everyday living. Certain pursuits which are considered to be mostly recreational are not included on the exercise list, even though some limited activity may be required. An example is bowling. Likewise, activities, even though at times strenuous, but are not generally considered as recreational, such as housecleaning or doing yard work, are not on the list either. The current approved exercise list is as follows:

WYDOT Wellness Program Coordinators HEADQUARTERS

DISTRICT 1

Pat Bennett

Randall Griesbach

Merri Burkett

Michael “Jake” Lonn

Jim Coffin

Martin Mayfield

Shelly Erickson

Ralph Tarango

Ann Heath

Scott Taylor

Sara Janes

Ellen Teigen

Kathleen Kinney Hilary Michelena

DISTRICT 2

Doug McGee

Jeri Kennedy

Diane Nyffler

Scott Hokanson

Aerobics

Elliptical trainer

Running

Heather O’Connor

Tai Chi

Aquatic exercise

Hiking

Jeremy Olson

DISTRICT 3

Snowboarding

Tennis

Basketball

Suzanne Roseberry

Becky Hager

In-line skating

Snowshoeing

Volleyball

Darrel Seifert

Bicycling

Jogging

Soccer

Clifford Spoonemore

DISTRICT 4 Kaylina Houston

Walking

Boxing

Karate

Debbie Trojovsky

Softball

Weight lifting

Calisthenics

James Winters

Mountain biking

Spinning

Downhill skiing

DISTRICT 5

Circuit training

Pilates

Stair climbing

Claudia Frederick

Cross-country skiing

Racquetball

Swimming

Yoga

Dancing

Rowing

Table Tennis

Zumba

Working out with exercise band

Wyoming on Wellness The State of Wyoming employee wellness program (distinct from WYDOT’s wellness program) has been revamped for 2013, with requirements for employees who wish to participate changing somewhat from the now defunct “Healthier Wyoming” program. Instead of a health insurance premium discount in the future, the new state program (Wyoming on Wellness; WOW for short) includes provisions to earn cash incentives which total $125 for those who complete all requirements. Current employees who are the primary member in the state of Wyoming Employees’ Group Insurance Health Plan are eligible to participate in WOW, as are COBRA participants and retired employees who continue health insurance through the state plan. Although

dependents are not eligible for WOW, they can take advantage of one free blood chemistry profile and flu shot per calendar year. The first step is attending a blood draw. Employees who choose to have their blood sample drawn through Wyoming Health Fairs (WHF) will receive a $25 incentive check. To learn where and when a blood draw event is available, employees should access the WHF Web site (wow. whf.to) and click on the “State WOW” tab under the “Calendar of Events” link. A regular schedule of weekly blood draws are also available in Casper, Cheyenne, and Laramie. Monthly draws are available as well in Cheyenne, Cody, and Laramie. The next step is the health assessment. An employee who has received his or her blood draw results can then complete the Wyoming Health Fairs/Mayo Clinic

Health Assessment. Completion and processing of the health assessment yields another incentive check, this one for $50. “Also as part of the wellness program, employees will be offered different online solutions through the Mayo Clinic site. These are informational programs that will help assist you with your personal health,” Tammy Till, state of Wyoming wellness coordinator, said. The third and final step is submitting Continued on page 27 February 2013

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LGC: Dedicated to Assisting Local Agencies

Photo: Rick Carpenter

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Fall colors on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

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n the December issue of Interchange, Dave Kingham wrote about the designation of WYO 70 over Battle Pass as the newest state scenic byway. The article may have raised a question in the reader’s mind, “What is the process for earning a scenic byway designation?” As Kingham explained, the Wyoming Transportation Commission must approve such a designation. But what happens before the commissioners consider a scenic byway nomination? A look behind the scenes leads us to WYDOT’s Local Government Coordination (LGC) team. As its name suggests, Local Government Coordination is dedicated to assisting local agencies, primarily cities, towns and counties. LGC also acts as the liaison between local governments, the federal government, other WYDOT programs and nonprofit organizations. “The need for LGC is so the local entities can have a voice in how projects are planned here at WYDOT,” said Taylor Rossetti, LGC program manager. “We can assist with that. But also, just so they know that we do have some programs that are set aside for their benefit and that we are here to assist them through that process. “There is a great need for money to get passed on from the federal level to local governments. Main Street in small-town Wyoming is sometimes a state highway. We want to take care of those communities through which a state highway runs,” Rossetti said. “Outside entities can come to WYDOT for help with a project whether it is construction, engineering or just monetary Taylor Rossetti related.” LGC restructured last October, consolidating functions and rearranging some job assignments within the Planning Program. Rossetti, who reports to Martin Kidner, state planning engineer, had been was promoted to local government coordinator. Rossetti’s team includes Talbot Hauffe, Robert Rodriguez and Joni Kithas-Harlan with the Transit Program; Janice Burlew, cooperative agreements coordinator, and Sara Janes, C.J. Brown and Ken Ledet with Local Programs. Each of the three internal departments work with the public in some way in identify needs and then work to find solutions. One goal for restructuring LGC is better, more seamless communications, both internally and externally, which creates better alignment for the groups doing the work in the communities. The provisions of each program are reviewed to make sure the standards of each project are uniform, creating fewer headaches for the resident engineer. The resident engineer no longer needs to have multiple sets of guidelines to inspect the project. Smaller district offices know that the LGC consolidation allows for ease of use, too. Districts can make one call, rather than


Photo: Rick Carpenter

A summer drive on the Snowy Range Scenic Byway lets residents of Wyoming and visitors to the state view serene and majestic surroundings.

Frequently, senior centers and other nonprofits that provide bus service to their membership operate their buses on an on-demand basis. These buses are typically run from the member’s home or living community to shopping, activities and medical appointments. These buses are provided for those who no longer own a vehicle or are no longer able to drive. The programs that Transit assists are mostly public oriented, although a few private organizations qualify for help. Through the Transit 5310 Program, a wide variety of organizations are qualified, and Local Government can usually help out any nonprofit that needs a vehicle. LGC partners with the State Loan and Investment Board and the Transportation Enterprise Fund to garner more funding WYDOT can offer. “Through this process, we can expand the amount of money that Many of Wyoming’s local communities benefit from mass transis offered to grantees. portation systems like Start Bus in Teton County. We are able stretch the funding for those groups,” Rossetti said. “We work within the parameters of Cooperative Agreements works with the programs they administer to try to communities on a district level. The assist them in getting the right amount of district coordinator is in touch with local money into their communities to make governments, outlining responsibilities their programs work,” Rossetti said. Photo: Rick Carpenter

the multiple calls they needed to make prior to LGC’s restructuring. LGC’s Transit Program passes money from the Federal Transit Administration to entities that qualify for bus transportation funding. The local governments or nonprofit organizations need to meet ADA guidelines and other strict federal parameters. The senior centers or other nonprofit community outreach programs contact LGC to petition a need for a bus or operating funds for their transportation system.

of the involved parties and WYDOT to ensure that the final outcome of a project meets standards on both sides. LGC would let the local entity know about the money set aside for enhancements to their town or city. An example of such a project would be the repaving of a state highway which doubles as the main street through a small town. WYDOT communicates with the local government that sections of the street will be under construction, which gives the local entity time to plan for a sewer upgrade or new bike lane on each side of the road. An agreement is reached and both sides can benefit from the work being done. Cooperative Agreements works frequently with federal agencies and state agencies. WYDOT may share caretaker responsibilities with these agencies. A prime example of shared caretaker responsibility is the Wyoming welcome and travel centers. Local Programs is responsible for awarding federal monies to local governments or nonprofits through a grant system. LGC employs committee review to evaluate applications from the public and then send them on to the approval process through the Transportation Commission before the project is approved and can move on to the contract stage. At the contract stage, the projects are let by the local entity, not WYDOT. Much of the local work is coordinated February 2013

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Photo: Rick Carpenter

with the Contracts and Estimates and Engineering Services programs. WYDOT coordinates with the local entity to ensure that all plans and specifications of the project are compliant with federal standards when the project is bid out. Local Government also works closely with Environmental Services to ensure that categorical exclusions are in place to avoid federal laws being broken. The Bicycle/Pedestrian Program is coordinated between LGC, local entities and bike advocacy groups. LGC produces the state bicycle guidance map, and is currently revising the statewide bicycle plan. A portion of the 4,242-mile national bicycle route, the Transamerica Trail, passes through Wyoming. WYDOT often receives inquiries from bicycling enthusiasts about the best, most scenic or quickest routes through the state, and Bicycle/Pedestrian provides the answers. Moreover, with a bit of coordination, LGC and local entities can ensure that new road projects are finished with bicyclists and pedestrians in mind. Highway shoulders are widened, communities can be awarded funding for greenways, bike paths and adequate sidewalk amenities. Context-sensitive amenities are also helped with funding by the LGC. Through cooperative agreements, localities are able to see beautification to public A memorial sign placed along a high areas or enhancements risk rural road signifying a potential that are provided after a need for change.

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– Carlie Van Winkle

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Many bike paths and pedestrian greenways have been constructed across the state. This one in Casper is well used during the warmer months of the year.

large WYDOT project is finished in their area. “WYDOT prefers to run a project from start to finish and be able to walk away feeling proud that the work has turned out so well,” Rossetti said. “Our bottom line is to get folks from point A to point B, but we might as well enhance the scenery while we’re there. We really try to work with the locals and walk away from a project of which we can be proud.” Other projects that Local Programs oversee range from Bridge Replacement “Off System” and High Risk Rural Roads, to the Transportation Alternatives Program and the Recycled Asphalt Program. Each of these project areas work closely with WYDOT, federal and local agencies. And yes, as stated at the beginning of this article, LGC also helps communities seeking designation of a scenic byway. First, the local sponsors submit an application to an appointed committee for review. If the committee approves the application, it then moves forward as a nomination to the Transportation Commission and if needed, a federal committee. After the Transportation Commission approves the nomination, the Scenic Byway designation becomes official. Commonly, scenic byway sponsors seek the designation as a method of generating commerce and tourism. LGC is also able to help groups find federal monies or grants. Groups are awarded grants to create signage, turnouts and historical markers to generate tourism for their community.

Riverton’s sidewalks were enhanced with a contrasting color concrete to mimic the Wind River, which is so important to the community. Context sensitive amenities also included street beautification by including islands that double as planters (inset).

Editor’s note: Last March, survey results showed Interchange readers wanted more information on many different programs. This story is second in a series highlighting programs around WYDOT. Look for more to come in the upcoming year.


Are You Reaching Your Retirement Savings Goals? Are you currently enrolled in the Deferred Compensation 457 Plan? Only 76 percent of WYDOT employees are enrolled. The WRS Deferred Compensation Plan is designed to help you invest for retirement. You contribute a portion of your salary to the plan each month, and your contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheck – before you’re tempted to spend that money on something else. l

You are eligible to participate as soon as you begin work.

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You are always 100 percent vested in your Deferred Compensation Plan account – meaning you own the full account balance and can take it with you when your employment ends.

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You decide where to invest your contributions, giving you control over your retirement savings destiny. The plan offers several investment options. You also have the option to start, stop, increase or decrease your contributions at any time. Keep in mind, however, that your elections are effective the month after you submit the paperwork.

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You also have the advantage of the WRS Board’s oversight. It makes sure the investment options in the plan offer opportunities for broad diversification, and it rigorously evaluates each of the funds in the plan. The board may remove or replace a fund if it is not performing up to established benchmarks. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the WRS Board cannot guarantee the performance of any fund and is not responsible for investment results.

Savings goals met? Deferred Compensation Participants’ Statements Are Mailed Quarterly

Statements are produced on a quarterly basis in March, June, September and December. Allow up to three weeks from the end of the quarter to receive your statement. Your statement gives you an opportunity to address any questions or corrections you might have in regard to the information presented. Please visit http://www.wrsdcp.com for the following: • Elect to receive your statements electronically, or revert to paper deliver; • View your statements on-line; and • File your statements electronically.

WRS has specific forms related to your 457 Plan available for downloading. This is a benefit that you may have forgotten about. If so, you can enroll at any time! With a minimum contribution of $20 per month, you will also receive a state contribution of $20 per month. There are now two options to choose from (pre-tax or post-tax). It is never too early or too late to start investing in yourself and your future! If you would like more information, or to enroll, please contact the Human Resource Office or visit the Web site at http://retirement.state.wy.us.

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Wyoming residents continue to express high satisfaction with WYDOT Nearly eight out of 10 Wyoming residents are satisfied with WYDOT’s stewardship of the state’s transportation system, according to a telephone survey completed by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center at the University of Wyoming. Brian Harnisch, research scientist at WYSAC, presented the survey results to the Wyoming Transportation Commission at its monthly meeting in Cheyenne Thursday. WYSAC interviewed 991 adult Wyoming residents between Nov. 27 and Dec. 16, 2012, and 79 percent of them expressed overall satisfaction with WYDOT’s stewardship of the statewide transportation system. Two percent said they were dissatisfied with WYDOT’s stewardship and 19 percent were neutral on the question. The survey sample included residents in every county contacted using randomly generated telephone numbers, and about a third of them were interviewed via cell phones. The results have a margin of error of 3 percentage points with 95 percent confidence that the opinions of the state’s population as a whole fall within that range. WYDOT has contracted with WYSAC to conduct the customer satisfaction surveys every two years since 2002 to help the department assess how well it is fulfilling its mission of providing a safe, high-quality and efficient transportation system for the citizens of Wyoming. Seventy-nine percent of the respondents in the 2012 survey also said they were satisfied with the maintenance of the state’s highways, a slight increase from the 76 percent who expressed satisfaction in the 2010 survey. More than 77 percent of those interviewed said they are satisfied with the smoothness of the ride on interstates and state highways near their residence, a decline of 4 percentage points from the 2010 survey. Eighty-nine percent agreed the state’s highways and interstates usually permit travel with only minimal delays. The percentage of residents who agree the condition of the state highways has improved during the past two years declined from 71 percent in 2010 to 63 percent last year. When questioned about construction projects, 90 percent agreed that traffic delays are usually minimized as much as possible in work zones, a 10 percent increase from the 2010 survey, but only 45 percent agreed projects are usually completed within the time projected by WYDOT. Over the past two years, 80 percent of WYDOT’s projects were completed on time. On the subject of winter highway maintenance, 75 percent of residents said highways are plowed promptly, and 73 percent said plowing and sanding is done thoroughly, a drop of 6 percent from the previous survey.

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Overall satisfaction remained high with services offered at driver license offices around the state despite the longer lines created by new security requirements for verification of identity, residence and Social Security numbers to get or renew driver licenses. Of the 65 percent of respondents who had conducted business at a driver license office during the past two years, 90 percent said they were satisfied with the courtesy of the staff at that office. Seventy-seven percent said they were satisfied with the promptness of the staff, down 9 percent from 2010. Thirty-nine percent of the respondents said they had direct contact with Highway Patrol personnel during the past two years, and 77 percent of them said Patrol personnel treat people with courtesy, 74 percent said the Patrol responds in a timely manner, and 84 percent said the Patrol met their expectations. High satisfaction was expressed with the department’s efforts to keep the public informed, with 82 percent of the respondents expressing satisfaction with how WYDOT communicates, up 8 percent from the 2010 results. Other survey findings include: • 75 percent of respondents said they had used a rest area in the past two years, and 94 percent of them were satisfied with cleanliness of the rest areas; • 62 percent said there are enough permanent lighted variable message signs on the highways; • 34 percent of the respondents said they had flown from or to a Wyoming airport during the past two years, and 60 percent of them said they are satisfied with the commercial air service offered in the state, up 12 percent from 2010; and • 67 percent of respondents said they had been to a Wyoming airport during the past two years either to travel or to drop someone off or pick them up, and 81 percent of them said they were satisfied with the overall facilities at that airport. – Dave Kingham

Know before you go.


Letters continued from page 2

Praise for WYDOT Governor Mead, Please allow this e-mail to express my appreciation for the WYDOT Project Engineer and crew working on the WYO 26-85 overpass project. I pass through the very busy construction site multiple times daily. The traffic control is great, the signs easy to follow and it is an amazingly complex coordination of effort. Bravo to all involved! Would you please pass the praise on to the appropriate folks?

Thanks Cathy Vasko (The above message was sent to Gov. Mead. His office sent it to WYDOT with the following reply.)

Dear Cathy, Thanks for your kind note. It’s good to hear when people are doing a good job. I will be sure to let the folks doing the work know of your appreciation. Thanks again, Cathy, for taking the time to write.

Sincerely, Matthew H. Mead, Governor cc: John Cox, Director, WYDOT

District 1 snowplow operator thanked I want to send a HUGE thank you to one of your WYDOT snowplow drivers. My husband and I became stuck on the on-ramp to I-25 south (near Exit 9) in Cheyenne mid-December. (Yes, I was driving. Yes, I ignored the pleas from my husband to not to try going up the ramp.) We were stuck for maybe 30 seconds before one of your snow plows arrived on the scene. Never complaining, your driver got out into the windy cold, dug out our tires and helped push our vehicle out of the rut so we could be on our way. His help ensured we were able to make it to Denver to see our daughter sing a solo at her high school choral event – a memory we will both always cherish. We didn’t get the gentleman’s name – but we really, really appreciated his help. Please pass along the appreciation to your maintenance folks.

Teamwork Truck parking no longer a mystery

A new publication, “Wyoming Truck Parking,” was created recently by WYDOT. A hard-copy version of the publication is available in various locations around the state, and an online version is also in the works. The map/guide, also referred to as a “visor card,” identifies parking opportunities for large commercial vehicles, such as tractor-trailer combinations, along Wyoming’s three interstate highways – I-25, I-80, and I-90. Staff of the

Public Affairs Office, in coordination with the Traffic Program, Highway Patrol, and district maintenance personnel, began canvassing and compiling truck parking information last fall. The map/guide lists truck stops and other businesses that provide truck parking opportunities, as well as publicly owned and maintained facilities such as truck parking lots, turnouts and rest areas. The information includes the number of truck parking spaces at each location, as well as available amenities such as fuel, restrooms, food service and showers. The Wyoming Truck Parking map/guide is modeled after a similar product published by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). Criteria for a trucking-related business to be listed on the Wyoming version included being located in close proximity to a highway interchange and having a minimum of five truck parking spaces. The Wyoming map/guide identifies about 3,000 truck parking spots along I-80, and another 1,300 spots along I-25 and I-90. – Bruce Burrows

Best wishes, Julie Oaks-Smith

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District News

Congratulations

Headquarters

Welcome Photo courtesy Andrea Allen

Krystal Jackson, Information Technology Support; and Brian Foster, Human Resources.

Promotions and Transfers

Welcome Jake Gores, Rawlins Maintenance; Travis Glenn, Rawlins Maintenance; and Derek Zimmer, Laramie Mechanics.

Promotions and Transfers Kelly Finn, Elk Mountain Patrol; Robert Garner, Rawlins Patrol; H. Christian Jensen, Laramie Maintenance;

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Cradle Call

Michael Spilker, Materials Laboratory, and wife, Patanga, welcome their wonderful new daughter Malani Meadow Spilker. Malani was born Nov. 17, weighing in at 5 lbs, 3 ounces, and measuring 19 inches.

Greg Brown receiving his 10-year service award from Bernie Kushnir. Brown works at Headquarters in the Rigging and Fabrication shop. Photo courtesy Michael Spilker

Nancy Coyle, Driver Services-Medical – 40 years; Charles James, Highway Development-Project Development – 40 years; Debra Sherman, Highway Development-Project Development – 30 years; Paul Depew, Highway DevelopmentProject Development – 20 years;

Kristin Burkart, Internal Review – 15 years; Debbie Meza, Driver Services-Policy and Records – 15 years; Christopher Stewart, Cheyenne I-25 Port Of Entry – 15 years; Edward Winans, Cheyenne I-80 Port Of Entry – 15 years; Gregory Brown, Equipment Mechanics – 10 years; and Ryan Shields, Bridge Operations Inspection – 5 years.

Retirements Albert Auzqui, Traffic; Nancy Coyle, Driver Services-Medical; Rick Harvey, Materials Operations; Richard Keslar, Traffic; and Roger Webb, Facilities Management-Building Maintenance.

Malani might be tiny, but according to proud papa, Michael, she’s mighty!

District 1 David Lacy, Laramie Port of Entry; Thomas Pritchard, Laramie Patrol; Thomas Stoker, Patrol-Cheyenne District Office; and Joshua Walther, Cheyenne Patrol.

Jeffary Niswender, TrafficSigning – 15 years; and George Escobedo, Cheyenne Construction – 5 years. Photo courtesy Mike Ginther

Service Awards

DePew (center) receiving his 20 year Service Award from Tony Laird and Andrea Allen.

Photo courtesy Carl Moody

Lorrie Abeyta, Human Resources; Peter Brennan, Right Of Way-Engineering; Jay Byers, Right Of Way-Engineering; James Farrell, Geology; David Fritz, Planning-System Planning; Lenard Fulmer, Driver Services-CDL; Alicia Glover, Human Resources; Klief Guenther, Patrol-Capitol Services Protection; Susan Hoyt, Human Resources; Daryn Kramer, Right Of Way-Engineering; Patrick Lacroix, Right Of Way-Engineering; Brianne Lopez, GIS/ITS; William Morse, Patrol-Support Services Operation; Amy Pearson, Driver Services-CDL; Brandt Pickett, Highway Development-Project Development; Ashley Powell, Driver Services-CDL; K.C. Ramsey, PatrolSupport Services Operation; Edith Reed, Driver Services-CDL; Debbie Russi, Human Resources; Le An Senff, Driver Services-CDL; Clark Stillahn, Driver Services-CDL; Mark Stogsdill, Right Of Way-Engineering; Elexess Waterfield, GIS/ITS; Roy Weber, Right Of Way-Engineering; and James Whetstone, GeologyDrillers.

Brian Foster has been chosen as the new Human Resource Manager I to replace Anne McIlvaine in the Headquarters Human Resources Office. Foster is a proud Wyoming native. Born in Kemmerer, he graduated high school Brian Foster from Byron in 1981. His continuing education includes North Western Community College in Powell, Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, and a Bachelors Degree in Human Resources from University of Wyoming in 1990. Foster has worked for the state for 21 years in several agencies, most recently the Game and Fish Department. He has been married for 29 years to Maria, and has two kids and two grandchildren. Brian assumed his new duties Jan. 2.

Service Awards William Sherwood, Elk Mountain Maintenance – 35 years;

Jeffary Niswender

Retirements John Gallenbeck, Baggs Maintenance.


Welcome

Service Awards

Michael Hamilton Jr., Kaycee Maintenance; and Lawrence Pavone Jr., Lusk Maintenance.

Chad Aagard, Casper Construction – 20 years; Alyshia Allen, Casper Construction – 5 years; William Lamont, Douglas Maintenance – 5 years; Paul Lovett, Chugwater Maintenance – 5 years; and Nick Palmer, Telecom-District 2 Radio Shop – 5 years.

Promotions and Transfers Carol Barnes, Casper Construction; Jacob George, Traffic-Signing; Thomas Green, Casper Construction; and Barry Schulenberg, Casper Mechanics.

Photo: Jeff Goetz

District 2

Barry Schulenberg (left) and Geoffrey Morgheim receiving their Fundamentals of Service for General Shop certificates.

District 3

Service Awards

Chancey Duncan, Rock Springs Patrol; Mitchell Kannier, Rock Springs Patrol; Hoby Knowles, Cokeville Maintenance; and Jon Weitzel, Rock Springs Patrol.

Leroy “Ted” Wells, District 3 Construction Staff – 35 years; John Eddins, District 3 Administration – 25 years; Thomas Kelly, Jackson Patrol – 20

years; and Joshua Newell, Kemmerer Construction – 10 years.

Retirements David Racich, Pinedale Construction.

John Eddins

Tom Kelly

ading! Re

Ted Wells

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Promotions and Transfers

Josh Newell

District 4

Welcome

Retirements

Paul Taylor, Gillette Maintenance.

Promotions and Transfers Michael Prentice, Gillette Maintenance; Ace Redman, Gillette Maintenance; Leo Simons, Gillette Maintenance; Jonathan Struebing, Gillette Maintenance; Michael Taylor, Sun- Mike Taylor dance Construction; Troy Tyree, Sheridan Port of Entry; and George Wanke, Gillette Maintenance.

Ruth Bolin, Newcastle Construction, retired Jan. 4, after 28 years of service with WYDOT. Ruth started her career with WYDOT in May 1984 as a temporary worker for Curtis Clabaugh on the Newcastle construction crew. Ruth was rehired seasonally until 1989 when she was hired as a Highway Construction Tech 2. She spent her entire WYDOT career in Newcastle, working her way up

Photo: Ronda Holwell

Service Award David Mullen, District 4 Construction Staff – 40 years. Dave Mullen

Janice Livingston and Ruth Bolin giddy as schoolgirls while celebrating their retirement from District 4 this January.

from ticket taker and lab person to “super tech,” senior construction and field survey specialist, responsible for running entire projects. Her last years were spent as office manager. Brent Johnson, Newcastle Maintenance, retired in late December with 14 years of service. Brent hired on as a Maintenance Equipment Operator in Moorcroft Brent Johnson in 1999. He transferred to Newcastle in 2001 where he retired as a maintenance equipment operator. Janice Livingston, Sundance Construction, retired in early January with more than 28 years of service. Janice hired on as a highway construction technician on a temporary seasonal basis in July 1984, was moved to permanent status the following spring working for William Continued on page 18

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District 4, cont.

Put an end to distracted driving. District 5

Welcome

Cradle Call

Farewell

Avani June-Rose Troncozo, born April 22, lives in Lakeside, Cal. with her parents Frank and Melissa Troncozo III, her brothers Frank IV and Elisha. Avani and her brother and sister are grandchildren of Scott and Linda Renkly. Scott Renkly is part of guardrail crew in District 4.

Ernie Grow, leader of Gillette Maintenance Crew 4034, retired on Nov. 1 after dedicating 20 years to WYDOT. Co-workers had a pizza lunch with Ernie on his last day. Ernie has always been one to help anyone anytime help was Ernie Grow needed. He always had a “Good morning and have a good day” attitude. A Michigan native and Air Force veteran, he began his career with WYDOT Maintenance in 1992. He became an equipment operator in 1997 and worked his way up to crew leader in 1999, holding that position until he retired. He and his wife, Carolyn, have seven children, 13 grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren with whom they’d like to spend time with while retired. Your WYDOT family wishes you all the best, Ernie!

Photo courtesy Scott Renkly

Continued from page 17 Hibbard. She spent her entire WYDOT career in Sundance working her way up to senior construction and field survey technician and survey crew chief, and acted as project supervisor for many projects. Janice was tough, but fair, in every sense of the word. She was highly respected by all who knew her, including contractors, for her knowledge, experience and unsurpassed work ethic.

Scott Renkly and wife, Linda, are proud grandparents of three grandchildren, with Avani being their most recent addition.

December Service Award Recipients

Justin Grant, Shoshoni Maintenance.

Promotions and Transfers Rodney Miears, Cody Patrol; Jody Peck, Dubois Construction; Jacob Small, Lander Maintenance; Allen Tharp, Dubois Construction; Cathy Titmus, Dubois Construction; and Zan Zwemer, Dubois Construction;

Service Awards

Photo: Rick Carpenter/WYDOT

Robert Marchant, Frannie Port Of Entry – 35 years; Erik Smith, Lander Construction – 15 years; James Thomas, Worland Patrol – 10 years; and Guy Grant, Cody Construction – 5 years. 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: (clockwise from top left) Jim Hulet, Michael Patterson, David Cooper, William Sherwood, Julia Francis, David Mullen, and Nancy Coyle.

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Noteworthy

Materials Program veteran, manager Harvey concludes WYDOT career Longtime Materials Program Manager F.M. “Rick” Harvey retired from WYDOT in early January, capping a 37.5-year career with the agency. Harvey joined the old Wyoming Highway Department in the summer of 1975, shortly after earning his bachelor of science in civil engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He spent his entire department career in Materials and had served as program manager since 1995. In summarizing his long experience as a materials engineer, Harvey said he takes great pride in being a member Rick Harvey of the generation of transportation professionals who “made it better.” He then went on to relate how he recently heard a presentation by a noted national transportation speaker who stated his opinion that this same generation of professionals is the first that has not added to the nation’s highway system. After giving it some thought, Harvey said he has a different perspective. It’s true, he said, that our grandfathers greatly increased the number of paved roads and “got the country out of the mud,” and also true that the succeeding generation built the interstate highways which greatly enlarged capacity of the highway system and improved connectivity. However, Harvey remembers how when he started with the

Resourceful employees in Afton, Russell Parsons and Franklin Olsen, have designed and built a hydraulic pack ram that hooks onto the receiver hitch of a 1-ton truck. Mounting the equipment on the 1-ton truck allows the equipment to be used safely out of the lanes of traffic. The newly designed equipment will easily pull damaged delineator poles, sign posts and fence lines for repair, cutting labor times by 30-40 percent. The new equipment’s predecessor was

• The development of polymer-modified asphalt and the wide range of chemical admixtures for concrete which have improved the longevity of pavements; • The ability to test, classify and specify materials properties which developed in leaps and bounds with the development of computer technology. Technology also had a major impact on construction equipment, Harvey added, allowing better control of mixing plants and paving equipment, and contractors have responded with much better quality control of paving operations. To sum up, he said, pavements are now quieter, safer, smoother and perform much longer than they did in the 1970s. Harvey was honored during a retirement reception held Dec. 28 in the cafeteria at WYDOT Headquarters. He told the audience that one of his future goals is to make a return to the sport of tennis, and appropriately, his retirement gifts included a set of new tennis rackets. He and his wife, Diane, have purchased a winter home in Fort Myers, Fla., but the couple plans to spend their summers in Cheyenne. – Bruce Burrows

designed for an 8-yard truck, and was front-mounted making the task highly dangerous for the worker operating the machine, as the driver wasn’t always able to see the worker. The 8-yard truck wasn’t able to work out of the way of traffic, so traffic was affected as well. Parsons and Olsen are recipients of WYDOT’s Extra Mile award for their outstanding work and forward thinking. n

Photo courtesy Jayson Davis

WYDOT employees design and build useful equipment, win Extra Mile Award

Highway Department, many interstate highway pavements, despite being less than 10 years old, were in very poor condition with numerous deep ruts and potholes. Most of these pavements only performed a couple of years before needing rehabilitation. Harvey listed the significant improvements he witnessed over the years in the materials and construction practices used for both asphalt and concrete pavements, for example: • The addition of lime which has greatly reduced the incidents of moisture damage; “stripping” in asphalt pavements, and the addition of coal fly ash which has effectively controlled the alkali-silica reaction which otherwise weakens concrete pavements;

A look at the rear-mounted hydraulic pack ram on a 1-ton truck.

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USFS awards certificate to Worland District Engineering Staff The U.S. Forest Service presented WYDOT’s Worland engineering crew with a certificate of appreciation on Dec. 6 in Worland. Wording on the certificate, signed by District Ranger Mark Booth: “United States Department of Agriculture Certificate of Appreciation awarded to WYDOT Worland District Engineering Staff for quality construction management and engineering work on the County Line West contract during the summer of 2012. “WYDOT objectives of improving the safety for the traveling public were achieved. In addition the scenic quality of this twomile stretch of U.S. Highway 16 was greatly enhanced with scenic views opened up. The 350,000 cubic yards of waste material was creatively used in a waste disposal area adjacent to the largest cut on the project. “The Powder River district ranger’s gratitude begins with Resident Engineer Dan McAfee and Project Engineer Bryan Strasser. The rest of the engineering personnel of Mark Schaeffer, Rod Webb, Kent Smith, Tim Pittman, Shane Shoopman and James Willert all contributed to the successful construction project during the summer and fall of 2012.” The award was received for WYDOT’s efforts on this past summer’s $8.2 million highway improvement project in Washakie County near Meadowlark Lake. Oftedal Construction

Fredrick is chairman of national bridge committee Assistant Chief Engineer Gregg Fredrick has been appointed to lead a committee that develops and updates engineering standards, design and construction specifications and inspection requirements for bridges and structures nationwide. Fredrick’s appointment as chairman of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures began on Dec. 21 and will extend until the close of the subcommittee’s annual meeting in 2015, with the option of an additional two-year term to follow. Gregg Fredrick His first annual meeting at the helm of the subcommittee will be June 16-20 in Portland. “It is an honor to have been selected as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures, and it is a privilege

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Inc., of Casper is the prime contractor on the County Line West project. The contract with Oftedal carried a partial completion date of Oct. 31, for all work except the chip seal and reclamation. The project carries a final completion date of June 30. The County Line West highway improvements are described as grading, draining, placing crushed gravel base, asphalt pavement surfacing, chip sealing the new asphalt, wetland construction, constructing a retaining wall, removal and replacement of box culverts, signing, guardrail installation, fencing and other work on 2.3 miles of US 16 beginning at milepost 44.04. n

Photo: Cody Beers

Noteworthy

McAfee and Strasser displaying the well-earned certificate of appreciation from the U.S. Forest Service.

to be associated with the subcommittee once again,” Fredrick said. “I look forward to working with the state, Federal Highway Administration, AASHTO, academic and industry leaders as we collaboratively shape the future of the design, fabrication, inspection and maintenance of the bridges and structures we manage.” The subcommittee develops and maintains AASHTO standards, guides and manuals on bridges and structures, with 20 technical committees each focusing on specific aspects of design and construction. Fredrick previously served on the subcommittee beginning in 1997, and was a voting member during his tenure as the state bridge engineer from 2001 to 2011. He served as the chair of the Technical Committee for Structural Supports for Signs, Luminaires, and Traffic Structures, and as a member of the technical committees for guardrail and bridge rail, steel design and bridge management, evaluation and rehabilitation. The subcommittee includes representatives of all 50 state transportation departments, the Federal Highway Administration, other government agencies, private industry and the military. State Bridge Engineer Keith Fulton, Assistant State Bridge Engineer for Design Mike Menghini and Assistant State Bridge Engineer for Operations Paul Cortez also represent Wyoming on the subcommittee. n


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February 2013

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WTDEA Store

Troy McLees of the Wyoming Highway Patrol in Cheyenne was recently promoted to captain and has assumed duties as WHP’s communications captain. McLees will oversee the communications division of Patrol, working with individuals in the dispatch center. McLees joined the Patrol in 1991 and was a member of the first all WHP Academy. He was originally stationed in Pine Bluffs. After four years in Pine Bluffs, he transferred to Cheyenne. In January 2000, McLees was promoted to safety Captain Troy McLees education sergeant. While in that position, McLees became very involved with SafeKids Wyoming. He promoted child passenger awareness and in 2002 teamed with SafeKids Wyoming to certify other members of WHP as child passenger seat technicians who inspect car seats along the road, during car seat check points and at crash sites.

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McLees was promoted to safety education lieutenant in 2006. In 2007, he was instrumental in bringing the Alive at 25 program to the WHP. He partnered with the Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation to bring the Alive at 25 program to Wyoming. The program has been a huge success in Wyoming. Alive at 25 has had a tremendous safety impact on the younger drivers in this state. He is a Wyoming native, attending Cheyenne East High school. He attended LCCC where he majored in Criminal Justice. n

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Noteworthy McLees promoted to captain

McLees being congratulated by former WHP Colonel and now WYDOT Director, John Cox.

Hats

WTDEA State Board is selling hats. The hats are $18. Contact your WTDEA representative for more information.

Gloves

Pigskin leather work gloves. $5.25 for members, $6.25 for non-members. Call Tina Thomas at 777-4486.

Cookbook

The Roadkill Cookbook is selling for $10. Call Barbara Thomasee at 777-4494.

Cash Calendar

An 18 Month Calendar (7/2012 - 12/2013) is selling for $15. Daily chances to win starting January 2013. Contact your representative for information.

If you would like your WTDEA event to be placed in Interchange, please contact Tina Thomas, tina.thomas@wyo.gov or Tony Niswender, anthony.niswender@wyo.gov

Interchange

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July 2013 Sunday

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1 5 12

16 23

Thursday

5

11

17 24

6

1310

September 2012

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2

1 7

13

20 27

6

12

19

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Tuesday

January 2013 T W T

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6

14 15 16 Saturday

1

4

9 16

14

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Monday

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10 17 24

2

June 2013

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4

11

30

9 16 23 30

23 26

25

31

18

31

8 15 22

29

5

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30 Thursday

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17

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12 9

1

15

6

26

11

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29 Wednesday

5

12 13 14 Friday 19

18 25

Day

2

Tuesday

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13

18 25

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22

28

October 2012

September 2012

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Sunday

November 2012

M T W Holidays T F S $50.00 Drawings 1 2 3

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11

4

Independence

10

4

Thursday

3

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December 2012

Weekends $20.00 Drawings

Wednesday

2

8

22

29

9

16

23

30

Saturday

3

10

17

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Back in the 1950s, employees of the old Wyoming Highway Department needed an organization to promote better employee relations. Numerous suggestions had been given, and with approval from the administrative staff, a committee was formed with the purpose of forming an employee’s organization. The following is an excerpt of the original memorandum found on microfilm: “Several employees have met with the purpose of initiating an organization of the employees with the following aims in mind: • Promote the welfare of State Highway Employees in all ways compatible with good government, efficient workmanship and public interest. • Encourage harmony and friendship and to foster cooperation and efficiency among all State Highway Employees. • Serve as a nucleus organization to operate a cafeteria in the proposed State Highway Building. • Foster a plan involving employee representation on an employee council. The initial plan is to inaugurate this organization in the Cheyenne Area, and as the organization works out, spread it throughout the State to the Highway Department as a whole.”

Photo: Harry Austin, Ed Ward. WYDOT file photo taken from The Highwayman, January 1958.

The Wyoming Highway Department’s Employee Association (WHDEA) was formed at an October 1957 committee meeting. The original committee was charged with drawing up a tentative constitution and bylaws for the budding WHDEA. The 1957 committee members were Bill Bruner, Cecilia Domenico, Gordon Elliot, Ray Kisicki, Herb Schemp, Alice Sydenham and Milton Urban. Urban went on to become the first WHDEA president. Throughout WHDEA Christmas parties were tie and ballgown the 1960s and 1970s, the WH- affairs. This image was taken at the 1957 event held at the Historic Plains Hotel ballroom. The DEA maintained couple at the center of the photo are Thurman goals of helping and Helen Sherard. Thurman Sherard was the Deputy State Highway Engineer until he left the employees on WHD to assume the duties of Director of Highways a district level. in the newly formed Alaska Highway Department The WHDEA in 1959. transferred legislative issues to the Wyoming State Employee’s Association (WSEA), eliminating the large legislative fund the WHDEA oversaw. WHDEA maintained control of working with the personnel division on wage transactions, and they set up a grievance committee. A few memorandums have survived on microfilm recording a wage increase struggle at the legislative level in the

– Carlie Van Winkle

February 2013

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WYDOT file photo taken by Highway Patrolman Jay Nelson

ployees gained a voice with WHDEA

mid-1970s. The Legislature, with the help of then Gov. Ed Herschler, passed more than 20 percent in wage increases for department employees in two separate sessions. The Headquarters chapter of WHDEA contin- The Rawlins chapter of WHDEA sponsored the above exhibit at the 1961 Carbon County Fair. ued to represent the employee to obtain fair and equitable treatment. The membership also distributed information and news, investigated all problems brought before the association and acted as liaison between employees and management. On the lighter side, the WHDEA sponsored social activities, as well as intra-departmental sports (basketball, bowling and golf to name a few) and similar activities. Browsing through archived records show photo evidence of many a tournament of one kind or another. The annual Christmas dinner/dance has been popular since the 1950s. An average year saw at least 250 employees and spouses participate. The summer picnic was another annual event attended by nearly all employees and families going back to the 1940s. WHDEA took over the planning of the picnic upon it’s organization in 1957. In the mid1980s, personnel and wage issues were given over to the Wyoming Public EmployWinners of the 1981 WHDEA Headquarters Hunting ee’s Association, and Fishing Contest proudly pose with their trophies. formerly known Standing (from left) Floyd Foresman, Rick Harvey, John Couch, Joe Losacco, and Dave Griego. Kneeling as the WSEA, (from left) Earl Montgomery, Don Moench, Dave and the WHYoung, and Joe Bennett. DEA revised their vision and became a strictly social entity. Social functions and philanthropy became the heart of the organization. In April 1991, when WHD officially became WYDOT, the WHDEA followed suit by changing it’s name, becoming WTDEA. This was the first in a short series of articles to reacquaint employees with your WTDEA. In a forthcoming article, WTDEA officers will share the results of their employee survey.

Photo: WYDOT file photo

WTDEA Wyoming Highway Department em-


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on Sept. 1, 1990, after having chalked up four decades with the agency. Menghini was succeeded by Don Diller, who had been selected by Gov. Mike Sullivan in July 1990 to begin the process of reorganizing WHD into WYDOT. “First of all, Leno was a good engineer, and he was also a good manager and a good leader,” former Director Diller recalled. “He was just a great guy to work for.” Leno was well known not only for his decisiveness, and also for being deliberative and fair-minded, Diller added. “He was not afraid to make a hard decision, and then stand up for it, and was always willing to explain why he had opted the way he did,” he said. Menghini’s tenure with WHD ran roughly coincident with the planning and building of Wyoming’s 914-mile Interstate highway system, and he played a pivotal role in assessing and selecting alignments during the early planning phases, and subsequently in designing and constructing the system. Gene R. “Rocky” Roccabruna, another former WYDOT director joined Menghini’s crew in 1958 as a new graduate engineer fresh out of the University of Wyoming. The project list included the future sections of I-80 in Uinta County. Working as a rodman on a Rawlins-based surMenghini was veying crew 1949. a very intelligent boss, and also caring and compassionate, according to Roccabruna, who recalled an incident in which he and another young crew employee were stranded in a remote location, as result of failing to negotiate a creek crossing in their WHD-issue Chevrolet Suburban. “We didn’t have a radio , so we couldn’t call for help, so we were in a bit of a pickle. But then about midnight, here came Leno to rescue us,” Roccabruna said with a laugh. On a more serious note, Roccabruna credits Menghini, during his tenure as superintendent and chief engineer, with providing the vision and leadership to keep Wyoming “at the top of the ladder,” so to speak, when it came to transportation issues. “He had a very precise understanding of the needs and how to proceed, which led to a lot of success for the department and to the traveling public. I felt very privileged to have worked for him,” he said. Both Diller and Roccabruna also noted how Menghini’s dedication to his family matched his professional achievements. All who knew him were quick to mention his perseverance in successfully raising a family of six children as a widower after losing

Photo courtesy Karen Menghini Kent

Leno Menghini, who headed the old Wyoming Highway Department for 14 years, died Jan. 5 in Cheyenne. He was 87. Menghini, the son of Italian immigrants, was born in Superior, a small mining town east of Rock Springs. After graduating from high school in Superior, he enrolled at the University of Wyoming, but his studies were interrupted when he joined the U.S. Army in the midst of World War II. He went on to spend most of his war years in Greenland,where his engineering company maintained an emergency airport. Leno Menghini He mustered out of the service in the spring of 1946. The following autumn, he returned to Laramie, going on to complete his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UW in 1950. Upon graduation, Menghini joined the Highway Department, working initially as a rodman on a Rawlins-based surveying crew. He was promoted to assistant project engineer in 1953, and later that same year, was promoted again, to project engineer at Rock Springs. He transferred to Evanston in 1958, remaining there until 1960, when he was promoted to resident engineer and transferred back to Rock Springs. His next promotion came in 1961, when he was dispatched to Basin as district maintenance engineer. Two years later, he was elevated to district engineer at Sheridan, and Menghini posing while stationed in Greenland in 1967, moved with the Army Corps of Engineers. to Cheyenne as state construction engineer. Menghini was promoted to director of planning and programming in 1973 and at the end of 1976, was appointed WHD superintendent and chief engineer. He retired from that position

Photo courtesy Karen Menghini Kent

Passings Leno H. Menghini


Menghini walking with other WWII vets down a sidewalk lined with cheering onlookers during an Honor Flight-Wyoming.

Photo: WYDOT photo file

Prior to his retirement in 1990, this photo was snapped of a contemplative Menghini behind his desk.

District Briefs continued from page 5 on US 191, one over railroad tracks and the other over Bitter Creek, will be widened and rehabilitated. The three-mile section of US 191 that stretches over the bridges will be widened with additional lanes, creating a turning lane to accommodate an increase in traffic flows. The majority of the work on this project will take place in the spring construction season of 2013. The project will extend from Exit 99 off I-80 to the Rock Springs landfill.

Causeway erosion repair underway on US 14-A Lovell – A $1.38 million erosion causeway repair project is underway east of Lovell on US 14-A. The project, located where US 14-A crosses Bighorn Lake, involves installing dirt and rock to rebuild slopes beside the highway where it crosses the causeway, installing geotextile erosion control fabric to protect the slopes along the causeway from erosion, installing rocks and resetting existing rocks along the causeway, and rebuilding existing guardrail. The work area is between mileposts 55 and 57.5 on US 14-A, about 10 miles east of Lovell. “The work is being done to repair damage from the high water and wind erosion in Bighorn Lake that occurred during the spring and summer of 2011,” said Ben Steed, WYDOT resident engineer in Basin. “The contractor’s schedule shows work being completed about midMay. Please drive safely through the area where the work is being completed.” American Contracting, LLC, of Cheyenne is the prime contractor on the erosion repair project. Contract completion date is Aug. 31. n

Photo: WYDOT photo file

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Menghini standing proudly outside the building that he worked in for 23 years.

Photo: Rick Carpenter

his wife Caroline to cancer in 1969; when, his youngest child was just 3 years old. “Leno’s life was truly centered around his family, both immediate and extended. He was actively involved in all facets of his children’s lives, from their pursuit of academic excellence, community volunteerism or extracurricular activities. Leno was especially proud that all of his children graduated from the University of Wyoming,” his newspaper obituary reads. While he was WHD superintendent and chief engineer, Menghini served as president of the Western Association of State Transportation and Highway Officials in 1978-79 and the American Association of State Transportation and Highway Officials (AASHTO) in 1988. He remains one of only two WHD or WYDOT leaders to have served as AASHTO president. (The other was Ross Stapp in 1969.) He was also a longtime member of the Wyoming Engineering Society and in 2009 was honored with that organization’s “Outstanding Engineer Award.” Menghini was also a past winner of UW’s “Engineer of the Year” award. His community service included 15 years as a volunteer member of the St. Mary’s/ Seton Catholic School board, as well as vice chairman of the DePaul Hospital board of directors and long-standing membership in the Cheyenne Rotary Club. Funeral services were conducted Jan. 11 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cheyenne, followed by a Celebration of Life event at Little America.

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Passings

Frank “Tad” Page Armstrong

Calvin “Cal” Dean Wilson

Retiree Frank “Tad” Armstrong, 65, of Sheridan died Dec. 27, at the Sheridan VA Medical Center. Armstrong first worked for the agency in 1975 as an engineering technician in Laramie. The following year, he was commissioned as a highway patrolman and was posted to Kemmerer. Subsequent duty stations included Evanston, Rawlins and Laramie. He left the Patrol in 1987 and lived in Tad Armstrong California briefly, then returned to Wyoming to rejoin the Patrol with the Port­of-Entry Program, serving in Cheyenne, Lusk and Sheridan. He retired as supervisor of the Sheridan/Dietz port in 2008. Armstrong was a native of upstate New York and was a graduate from high school in Rapid City, S.D. Prior to moving to Wyoming, he attended the University of South Dakota and then served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, which included a tour of duty in Southeast Asia. Survivors include his brother Jim, who retired from the Highway Patrol in 2002 after serving 24 years on the force. Funeral services for Armstrong were conducted Thursday, Jan. 3, in Sheridan.

Cal Wilson, a member of the Cody engineering crew, died Dec. 31, in Billings, Mont., from complications during surgery. Wilson, 49, was a native of Sundance, where he graduated from high school in 1981. Wilson had first worked for the old Wyoming Highway Department, WYDOT’s predecessor agency, in 1980 as Cal Wilson a temporary employee. He rejoined the department in 1981, and since then had worked in Sundance, Lander, Cheyenne, Lovell and Cody. Wilson had also worked for the U.S. Forest Service and the city of Sundance. Cremation has taken place and Cal requested no service.

Ellen Ramirez Ellen Ramirez, 69, a retired employee for District 2, died Dec. 31. Ramirez joined WYDOT in December 1995, starting out in radio dispatch and later serving as district data controller until her retirement on May 31, 2007. Funeral services were conducted Jan. 5 in Casper.

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Total number of employees: as of Dec. 31, 2012

2,056

One month ago

2,058

One year ago Ellen Ramirez

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2,062


Continued from page 9 to an annual physical check up. Employees should schedule an annual physical with their primary health care provider and prior to going in for the check up, download and print off the new WOW physical form from the WHF Web site. After the health care provider has signed the form and it is mailed back to the return address printed on the form, yet another $50 incentive check will be issued. Employees should keep a copy of the physical form for their records. To maximize the wellness benefits of these components, employees should get the blood draw first and then take the assessment. By bringing a copy of each of these items to their physician; employees should have a more complete physical, Till recommends. More information about WOW, including a calendar of events and instructions on how to establish an online WHF account, is available on the WHF Web site. – Bruce Burrows

Submissions deadline for the March issue of Interchange: 02/15/13 carlie.vanwinkle@ wyo.gov

Break Time

Can you spot the five differences in the photos below? Check your answers online at: www.employees.dot.state.wy.us, or if not able to access the employee site: www.dot. state.wy.us/wydot/engineering_technical_programs/manuals_publications/interchange.

Retiring from WYDOT?

Don’t want to miss a single issue of Interchange? Give us your name and address and we’ll be sure to put you on our mailing list. Retiree name: Mailing address:

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 carlie.vanwinkle@wyo.gov. February 2013

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

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

Address Service Requested

ICE & SNOW? Take it slow Know before you go.


Interchange - February 2013