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Interchange a WYDOT publication

July 2013, Vol. 41, Issue 7

Sign Shop Stop

Past and present yielding to the future

Happy Anniversary, Interchange

Celebrating 40 years of the publication



A pleasant Port of Entry experience

Lending a helping hand on the highway

I recently had the pleasure of entering your Sheridan Port of Entry to obtain an over-width permit. Officer Christie Butler was very polite and friendly. It sure is nice to enter a scale house and not be treated like I did something wrong. Good job, see you next time.

We would like to thank the WYDOT worker who helped us when we had a blowout on our Buick about 2 p.m. on May 25 in the eastbound lane of I-80. We were one mile from Pine Bluffs. Even though we had changed our tire, he made sure we were okay and had what we needed. He found that our spare tire was flat and he aired it up for us with the compressor he had on his truck. His name was Kevin and he was truly our guardian angel.

Jim Londree Timber Products of Iron Mountain

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

Gary and Mardee Kroeck

Extra Mile

AWARDS Congratulations May 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. Huston Twitchell Ray Neal Shelly Erickson Tracy Willmarth Sue Hopkins Angie Lola For more information about the Extra Mile Award or to nominate someone, contact Janet Farrar at or Mel Anderson at

Submissions deadline for the August issue of Interchange is:

July 12, 2013



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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

Also in this issue: Letters.....................................2

Contents 8

Extra Mile Awards................2 District briefs.........................4


District news.......................14 WYDOT by the Numbers....14 Noteworthy..........................17

“Would you recommend WYDOT as a good place to work?”

In The Community............21


HR Happenings................. 22 WYDOT Outdoors............. 24


WTDEA................................. 25 Passings............................... 26 Training at a Glance......... 26 Break Time.......................... 27

20.5% 6.1% 8.1%



Number of Respondents

8 Strongly Happy Interchange! Agree Anniversary, 188 396 40 Agree Interchange turns Neutral 204

Disagree Strongly Disagree 10 Sign of

74 the56Times

A look into the Headquarters Sign Shop

13 Employee Survey Results Be sure to check out the online version of Interchange at, or click on the link found on the employee’s internal Web site home page.

Satisfaction among employees up

19 Delegation from China visits

Headquarters employees host delegation On the cover: A sampling of antique signage that can be seen in the Headquarters Sign Shop. Photo: Rick Carpenter

July 2013




Transportation commission awards $29 million in highway contracts

Veteran designation option to be available on Wyoming driver licenses

Cheyenne – Contracts totaling $29.4 million for three highway projects around the state were awarded by the Wyoming Transportation Commission during its June meeting in Cheyenne. Foothills Contracting of Webster, S.D., won the largest contract with the low bid of $20 million for resurfacing and widening eight miles of US 16 from about a mile east of Newcastle to the South Dakota border. Three miles of the highway will be reconstructed, and three bridges will be rehabilitated. Safety shoulders on the entire section will be widened to eight feet and a center turn lane will be extended for about 1.5 miles between the Dixon Brothers Inc. and Powder River Energy Corp. facilities. Work will begin in October, but no disruption of traffic is expected until next spring. Work will be suspended for two weeks during August to facilitate heavy traffic during the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D. The final contract completion date is Oct. 31, 2015. Casper’s McMurry Ready-Mix Co. was the low bidder at $7 million for a project to mill off deteriorating pavement and replace it with a new layer of pavement on nine miles of I-90 immediately west of the West Sundance Interchange. The section last saw rehabilitation work 18 years ago and the pavement is suffering from cracks, rutting and other problems. The work is scheduled to be done by Oct. 31, 2014. Headquist Construction of Mills won a $2.4 million contract to reconstruct the intersection of WYO 258 (Wyoming Boulevard) and WYO 251 (Casper Mountain Road) in Casper. The work won’t begin until next year, and the contract completion date is Oct. 31, 2014.

Cheyenne – Wyoming veterans now have the option of requesting a veteran designation be shown on the front of their Wyoming driver license or identification cards. The red “V” in the upper right-hand corner of the license or card will allow Wyoming veterans to validate their honorable service with a government-issued identification card. To qualify for the designation, applicants must submit a verification form and copy of their separation papers (Form DD 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) to the Wyoming Veterans Commission. The verification form is available on the Web at forms.default.html. The commission will notify WYDOT Driver Services if an applicant qualifies as an honorably discharged veteran. The Veterans Commission will not keep the DD 214 copies on file. They will be destroyed to protect privacy. The commission will notify the applicant if there is a problem with the separation documents submitted. Veterans will need to indicate on their driver license or ID card application that they wish to have the veteran designation on their card. Veterans who get their status verified before going to a WYDOT Driver Services office to renew their license should get their new license with the red “V” in about three weeks. It is recommended that applicants contact the Veterans Commission for verification at least a week before going to a WYDOT Driver Services office to get a license. There is no additional fee required to get the veteran designation, but the normal fee charged for a new or renewal license will apply. “This allows Wyoming veterans to be recognized for their honorable military service on a Wyoming driver license or identification card,” Veterans Commission Director Larry Barttelbort said. “It provides an option for government-issued




n July 2013

documentation. Vets won’t have to carry their DD 214 around in their wallet.” About 35 other states already offer the veteran designation on their licenses, and it is one of the factors veterans organizations consider when ranking states on their support of veterans and their families. “We thank the members of the Legislature and Gov. Mead for showing their support for Wyoming veterans by approving this designation,” Barttelbort said. Applicants who already have the veteran designation on their license from another state will still be required to have their status verified by the Wyoming Veterans Commission to get the designation on a Wyoming license, because some states don’t require veterans to be honorably discharged, as required by the new Wyoming law.

WYDOT photo file

District Briefs

Wyoming residents who have served in the U.S. military can now apply for a veteran designation on their driver licenses and identification cards.

Headquarters entrance construction update Cheyenne – The construction under way at the headquarters complex in Cheyenne will increase the front parking lot’s capacity by 32 spaces, and add a right-turn lane for vehicles entering the complex. The turn lane will serve vehicles headed for the Maintenance shop, because the western-most access road those vehicles used previously will be closed. The current traffic control plan with a three-way stop and westbound traffic on Central Avenue having the right of way will continue unchanged. The project is on schedule to be done by the July 15 contract completion date. The work has disabled the sprinkling system in front of the headquarters build-

Tanker crash closes eastbound U.S. 30 near Medicine Bow

ing. Facilities Management won’t be able to resume watering the grass until after the parking lot work is completed. In addition to increasing the parking lot’s capacity to 116 vehicles, the project includes installation of a new storm sewer system to improve drainage. Simon Contractors is the prime contractor on the $621,000 project.

the U.S. 89 Etna North project. An initial scoping meeting on the Etna North Project took place in Alpine back in 2008, and then more recently, an open house in March of this year. WYDOT continues to work toward its goal of improving transportation in the Star Valley corridor. The meeting in Alpine served to inform the public of the proposed improvements and gather input from the local community. After reviewing comments from the public, WYDOT made several revisions to the project to better address those public concerns. “This public meeting offered those residents a chance to see what revisions had been made and how it will better serve their needs,” District 3 Public Relations Specialist Stephanie Harsha said. This meeting also included information on the project history, purpose and need and developing alternatives. WYDOT officials were on-hand to answer any specific questions or concerns the public had.

Medicine Bow – A tanker rollover caused the eastbound lanes of U.S. 30 to be closed approximately 7 miles west of Medicine Bow Memorial Day weekend. Troopers were dispatched to the crash which involved only the tractor-trailer combination with it’s two tanker trailers. The rear trailer rolled, after the driver swerved, coming to a rest just off the roadway. The combination was hauling 39,000 pounds of hot liquid asphalt sealer. This particular load was kept at 340 degrees. Cleanup could not begin until the substance had cooled. When it rolled, the rear trailer was breached and approximately 3,000 gallons of the hot mixture spilled onto the rightof-way. This resulted in the temporary closure of the eastbound lanes of U.S. 30. No waterways, water sources, ponds or lakes have been affected by the spill. The tanker truck originated at Sinclair with the load destined for an asphalt plant in Cheyenne.

Happy Jack Road widening project Laramie – Blasting was used to pulverize granite outcrops along WYO 210 (Happy Jack Road) in southeast Wyoming during a widening and resurfacing project under way this summer between mileposts 20.5 and 27. Oftedal Construction is the prime contractor on the $7.3 million project which involves 6.4 miles of WYO 210 in the vicinity of Curt Gowdy State Park between Cheyenne and Laramie. Work includes widening the lanes to 12 feet and adding six-foot shoulders, placing pavement overlay and flattening side slopes. Oftedal’s contract carries an October 31 completion date.

Corridor Study hosts public meeting to discuss future of WYO 22/390

Photo: WHP


The second tanker lies on its side in a pool of hot liquid asphalt sealer, following the rollover.

Photos: Rick Carpenter

WYDOT makes changes to future project on U.S. 89

The blasting of granite outcrops created quite a show along WYO 210 (Happy Jack Road) in southeast Wyoming.

Etna – WYDOT hosted a public meeting at the Etna Community Center on June 25 to provide a project update and share with local residents and landowners the changes that have been implemented in


Jackson – WYDOT and the Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with the town of Jackson and Teton County, have been diligently working on a Planning and Environmental Linkages Study for WYO 22 and WYO 390 in Teton County. The purpose of the study, which considers environmental and community goals in the planning process, is to develop a corridor vision, identify transportation needs, and develop preliminary alternatives for solutions to the transportation challenges in this corridor. The study limits extend on U.S. 89 between Scott Lane and South Park Loop Road, WYO 22 between Jackson and West of Wilson, and on WYO 390 from its intersection with WYO 22 to the Grand Teton National Park boundary. WYDOT hosted a stakeholder workshop and public open house in October 2012 to collect input from stakeholders on the transportation vision and needs of the area. That input has been used by Briefs continued on page 6 July 2013




Wetlands project underway on Togwotee Pass Dubois – Construction of wetlands throughout the Togwotee Pass corridor between Dubois and Moran Junction is now underway. “The contractor started in the snow oval off of Sheridan Creek near the eastern boundary of the Shoshone National Forest, and at milepost 8.5 in the Blackrock pit on the west side of Togwotee Pass,” said Kaia Tharp, WYDOT resident engineer in Dubois. “Later in the summer, the contractor will be building wetlands in the Falls Creek Campground, about a half-mile from the Brooks Lake turnoff, and between mileposts 18 and 20, east of Togwotee Overlook,” Tharp said. “The contractor will also be working in the Wind River pit at milepost 27.1, 27.1 miles east of Moran Junction. As part of this work, the contractor will be hauling material to a waste area at milepost 30.1 near Moccasin Basin road.” “Next spring, the contractor will be planting willows throughout the Togwotee Pass corridor,” Tharp added. Weekly meetings are scheduled for Tuesdays at the Blackrock pit, and citizens are invited to attend. Prime contractor for the $2 million wetlands project is Gale Lim Construction of Blackfoot, Idaho. Partial completion date is Oct. 31, with final contract completion date being June 30, 2014.




n July 2013

“Paving should be completed in early June and guardrail should be installed on the first three walls in the north end of the canyon,” said WYDOT project inspector Kent Herren. “Once paving is complete and guardrail is installed, traffic will be allowed to travel on the entire roadway in these sections.” Construction of an 1,100-foot retaining wall is nearly complete. “The 1,100-foot wall is the longest of the five retaining walls on the project,” said Robert Scheidemantel, WYDOT resident engineer in Riverton. Scheidemantel said the contractor’s work crews are now working on a smaller retaining wall about four miles south of Thermopolis near Wedding of the Waters at the north end of Wind River Canyon. Construction of the other three “smaller” retaining walls will begin after this retaining wall is constructed. Scheidemantel said the contractor’s work schedule shows most work on the slope stabilization/retaining wall project finalizing in June. Expected work on the project includes grading, draining, placing crushed gravel and asphalt paving, and other highway improvements in Wind River Canyon. Prime contractor for the project is Oftedal Construction, Inc., of Miles City, Mont. Contract completion date is Oct. 31.

Riverton – Paving is completed on the $432,300 flood repair project west of Riverton on U.S. 26, according to Robert Scheidemantel, WYDOT resident engineer in Riverton. “This project on U.S. 26 was just east of the Big Wind River bridge in the area where the highway was closed to traffic for several weeks in 2011,” Scheidemantel said. “After 71 Construction completes its project, WYDOT maintenance crews will be in the area completing their highway patching work in early June,” Scheidemantel said. 71 Construction’s scope of work included erosion repair, including pipe repair, grading, milling asphalt, placing crushed gravel base and rock rip rap, fencing and other work beginning at milepost 104.02 on U.S. 26 between Diversion Dam junction and Kinnear near the Big Wind River bridge. 71 Construction of Riverton was the prime contractor on the project. The Wyoming Transportation Commission awarded the project to 71 Construction last September.

Crews from 71 Construction working the new asphalt on the U.S. 26 flood repair project west of Riverton.

Roadway paving and slope stabilization project progressing in Wind River Canyon Thermopolis – Paving of the roadway is under way as part of a $1.88 million slope stabilization project in Wind River Canyon between Shoshoni and Thermopolis on U.S. 20/WYO 789.

Photo: Cody Beers

WYDOT and town and county staff to develop and screen alternatives. A public meeting was held June 24 at the Teton County Library. This offered the public a chance to review the alternatives and provide feedback. The study will serve as the initial basis for future environmental documents that will be prepared for individual projects planned and constructed in the corridor. Public comment is still encouraged and those interested in learning more about the study or sharing their thoughts and ideas can visit:

Paving finished on U.S. 26 flood repair project west of Riverton

Photo: Cody Beers

Briefs continued from page 5

Paving and building of retaining wall underway in the Wind River Canyon along U.S. 20/ WYO 789.

Hot-mix asphalt patching operation underway near Riverton

Milepost 55.00 is 13.2 miles east of the U.S. 287/Wyoming 28 (Rawlins) highway junction, south of Lander. McGarvin-Moberly Construction Co., of Worland is the prime contractor on the Beaver Creek East project. Contract completion date is June 30, 2014.

Riverton – A WYDOT asphalt paving crew began its spring and summer work in late May west of Riverton on U.S. 26. The paving crew is scheduled to pave more than 1,050 tons of hot-mix asphalt near the Big Wind River bridge on U.S. 26. The WYDOT hot-mix asphalt patching work continued into June on WYO 135, southeast of Riverton, and on U.S. 26/287, east of Dubois. The paving crew also worked on U.S. 287/WYO 789 and WYO 28 south of Lander, WYO 134 (Missouri Valley Road), and on U.S. 20/WYO 789 north of Shoshoni. The WYDOT paving operation consists of a paving crew, a roller operator and numerous WYDOT trucks hauling the hot asphalt.

Photo: Cody Beers

Wet weather continues to hamper Thermopolisarea project on WYO 120

A WYDOT paving crew patching areas of highway on U.S. 26 west of Riverton.

Asphalt milling underway on U.S. 287 Lander – A $4.4 million highway improvement project east of Lander on U.S. 287 is now underway, according to Erik Smith, WYDOT resident engineer in Lander. The Beaver Creek East project includes grading, draining, asphalt milling, placing pit run gravel subbase, chip sealing, bridge deck repairs, fencing and other work on 4.58 miles of U.S. 287 beginning at milepost 55.00 between Lander and Muddy Gap.

Thermopolis – Late May rain in the Thermopolis area continues to slow road improvement efforts on the $6.67 million highway improvement project directly northwest of Thermopolis. “We’ve received nearly five inches of moisture in the project area during the last two months,” according to Todd Frost, WYDOT resident engineer in Cody. “We are working on maintaining the roadway’s driving surface 24 hours a day. It has been a wet spring, and the wet weather has slowed progress with highway improvements. We appreciate everyone’s patience with the progress of this project.” “Motorists can expect crushed gravel base surfacing on the project until we pave the new roadway. Traffic is currently running on about eight inches of existing crushed gravel base,” Frost said. McGarvin-Moberly Construction Co., of Worland is the prime contractor on the 3.28-mile project between mileposts .94 (the northwest edge of Thermopolis) and 4.21. The Wyoming Transportation Commission awarded the project to McGarvin-Moberly last June. The scope of work on this project includes grading, draining, milling of asphalt, placing crushed gravel, asphalt paving, chip sealing, installing box culvert extensions and guardrail, signing, fencing and other work on 3.28 miles of WYO 120 between Thermopolis and Meeteetse. Contract completion date for the highway improvements is Sept. 30.

Street and sidewalk improvements begun in Worland Worland – Asphalt grinding is underway on 23rd Street in Worland, according to Robert Scheidemantel, WYDOT resident engineer in Riverton. “The contractor is working in areas that need repairs,” said Scheidemantel. “The contractor is also scheduled for asphalt paving in these areas.” Scheidemantel said curb and gutter repairs will follow the asphalt paving, along with sand blasting and sealing of the curb and gutter. Other repairs include sealing of sidewalk joints, and chip sealing on the street. Hout Fencing of Wyoming, Inc., of Worland is the prime contractor on the $726,400 project in Worland.

Gooseberry Road pavement improvement project nears completion Worland – A pavement improvement project is scheduled to conclude with chip sealing on WYO 431, also known as Gooseberry Road, between Worland and the Hot Springs County line. McGarvin-Moberly Construction Co., of Worland is the prime contractor on the $5.06 million project. The 19-mile project begins at reference marker 5 (near U.S. 20/WYO 789) and continues west to milepost 24 near WYO 120. “The contractor will likely chip seal the Gooseberry project by the end of June. All work is dependent upon favorable weather,” said Dan McAfee, WYDOT resident engineer in Worland. A description of the project includes milling asphalt, asphalt pavement paving, chip sealing and other work on 19 miles of WYO 431 between Worland and the Hot Springs County line. McGarvin-Moberly was awarded the contract last July by the Wyoming Transportation Commission. Contract completion date is Sept. 30.

July 2013




Interchange was founded 40 years ago this summer, in the words of retired Public Affairs Manager Keith Rounds, “to fill a void … and give the employees … a forum to tell about what they’ve done, the accomplishments of their kids, how well they bowled, show off their retirement gifts, and an opportunity to ‘see if you can find me in the group shot.’” In the beginning, Highway Interchange was published as an employee newsletter of WYDOT’s predecessor agency, the Wyoming Highway Department (WHD), to complement the highwayman, the long-running WHD news magazine. The A sampling of Interchange covers from the early 1970s to present. highwayman had its own beginnings in 1950, and originally met Tightened state budgets led to austerity the demand for an employee measures for state government, and one newsletter. However, the pubramification for WHD was the decision lication evolved over the years to reduce printing costs by cutting back to and by the 1970s, had become “to fill a void … a forum to tell only one agency magazine. Publication of primarily aimed at an external about what they’ve done, the Highway Interchange ceased in favor of the audience. highwayman. accomplishments of their kids, Enter Highway Interchange, It didn’t take long to figure out that how well they bowled, show off first published in July 1973. decision was a not popular one, and within For the next 14 years, the their retirement gifts, and an months, Highway Interchange was partially magazine was published as opportunity to ‘see if you can resurrected. a vehicle to cover news and “Because we had so many letters and find me in the group shot.’” information about and for comments indicating a desire to retain employees, while highwaythe company newsletter, we have decided man continued as the agency’s – Keith Rounds, to keep what we can by integrating it into external magazine. retired public affairs manager the highwayman, ” Rounds wrote. “We feel In 1987, a slump in the employees deserve some type of publication energy industry resulted in in which they can tell of their accomplisha decrease in revenues to ments and in which they can keep up with Wyoming state government. the accomplishments of their fellow workers.” For the better part of the next three years, Highway Interchange continued in a limited fashion, as the back section of the highwayman. In March 1990, thanks mainly to an improved Wyoming fiscal situation, Highway Interchange re-emerged as a separate publication. Publication of the highwayman continued, with a name change to Destinations the following year to reflect WHD’s reorganization into a department of transportation. At the same time, the name of Highway Interchange was shortened to simply Interchange, also reflective of the reorganization. Interchange continued on into the 1990s with its primary purpose as the WYDOT employee newsletter, and as the years went by, the focus gradually widened with the inclusion of an increasing number of feature articles aimed at a wider audience. A few WYDOT publication covers dated from 1986 to 1996.



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By end of the decade, it was becoming obvious to PAO that interest in Destinations had waned to the point that continuing to expend staff resources and budget on an external magazine was no longer justified. Meanwhile, interest in Interchange remained strong. The final issue of Destinations was published in early 2000. Few, if any, complaints followed. Since 2000, Interchange has continued to evolve, expanding in scope and graphic appeal. Credit is due to the string of employees who have served as editor since then, starting with Dave Kingham (now PAO deputy manager) and continuing with former staffers Jay O’Brien, Kelly Etzel Douglas and Aimee Inama. Each editor brought their own unique talents to bear, resulting in steady improvements in editorial and visual content. Current editor Carlie Van Winkle, in place since early last year, is continuing that trend. – Bruce Burrows

Newsletter origins: What’s in a name?

In earlier years, Interchange was often published bi-monthly and on occasion, even less frequently. The last bi-monthly issue was June-July 2004. Between July 1973 and March 1991, 90 issues of the newsletter, containing a total of 1,356 pages, were published as Highway Interchange. During that time span, an additional seven issues containing 82 pages were published as the Highway Interchange section in the back of the now defunct highwayman magazine. Since reorganization of the Wyoming Highway Department into WYDOT, effective April 1991, another 247 issues (6,440 pages total) of the newsletter has been published as Interchange. The grand totals for the 40-year period (July 1973 through June 2013) are 344 issues containing 7,778 pages, yielding a long-term average of 22.6 pages per issue. As stand-alone publication: Within highwayman: Total:

337 issues, 7696 pages 7 issues, 82 pages 344 issues, 7778 pages

also be extended to his wife, Sally; sons Hans and Michael, and daughter, Brenda,” according to a report in the newly named newsletter. Dale Vandenberg would later be promoted to State Construction and Maintenance Engineer at headquarters in Cheyenne before his death in July 1985 at age 52 following a lengthy battle against obstructive liver disease. Son Michael is a 30-year WYDOT employee in Rock Springs where he is a senior construction technician on resident engineer Clint Lockman’s crew (see page 15). n

WYDOT Archive

Interchange was so new when its first issue was published in the summer of 1973 that its creators in what was then the Public Information Office hadn’t been able to agree on what to call it. “This is the inaugural issue of what we hope will be a very informative employee publication,” they wrote. “Notice this newsletter doesn’t have a name. What it’s called will be up to you, it’s your paper.”

By the numbers

Employees were encouraged to submit their ideas for a name, with a $25 savings bond offered as an incentive for the winning suggestion. By the second issue in August 1973, more than 300 suggestions had been received, and a dozen of those were being advanced to a “blue-ribbon” committee for further study, with the Highway Commission designated to make the final choice. Suggested names included “Highway Highlights, Roadway Ramblings and The Milepost.” The September issue announced the winning suggestion, “Highway Interchange,” submitted by Dale Vandenberg, District 3 construction engineer in Rock Springs. “Dale advises the name was a family effort during a freethinking session at the dinner table. Therefore, kudos must

Photo: WYDOT Archive

The first two issues of Highway Interchange were titled with only a question mark.

Interchange, formerly known as the Highway Interchange, credits the Vandenberg family for a moniker that stands the test of time. Dale Vandenberg with his wife, Sally, daughter Brenda and sons Michael and Hans.

July 2013




ever increasing pace of change for much of WYDOT, as the staff in the agency’s Sign Shop can attest. For example, when current shop manager Mike Calaway started as a sign fabricator in 1986, a transition was underway from signs using button reflectors to those made with reflective adhesive.

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Calaway and his crew like to show visitors to the shop what a highway sign aficionado would consider to be a treasure trove of antiques. On display are stop signs that show the wear and tear of Wyoming’s sunny days and harsh winters and speed limit signs that have seen their share of target practice. In years past, each sign made was the result of considerable labor by department personnel. The earliest signs, dating back to the 1920s, performed mainly daytime duty.



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They were not reflective and consequently were difficult to see at night. Signs made between 1930 and the late 1950s addressed the visibility issue by adding cat-eye reflectors, which resemble marble-like gems mounted atop embossed lettering. By the 1960s, workers were cutting steel letters manually and fastening them onto the backing of a sign. Small, quarter-sized button reflectors were then fastened onto each letter (also by hand) once the sign had been erected. Consequently, fabricating signs in this manner was time consuming. After another two decades, button reflector signs were being replaced with the modern adhesive product that is used today. “Sign making has changed quite a bit through the years,” says Vince Lucero, sign shop foreman. “Long ago, letters and numbers for signage were all hand cut. We would count how many of each letter we needed for a road sign, and then as an example, cut 12 of this letter, four of this letter and eight of that letter. It was a much more involved process.” What was called “engineer grade” beaded material was used in the late 1970s until the mid-1980s when more advanced “high intensity” adhesive was introduced to the marketplace. This was used until about 2005. An even brighter High Intensity Prismatic (HIP) adhesive is now used and drivers can now see the signs from greater distances at night than ever before. Finished dimensions of signs have

Photo: Rick Carpenter


he rapid evolution of technology in recent times has translated into an

Photo: Rick Carpenter

(Previous page and below) A sampling of signs in the Headquarters Sign Shop. Some are hand painted, some have the cat-eye reflectors, some are embossed and all have stood the test of time, buckshot and Wyoming weather.

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Photo: WYDOT archive

(Above) Installation of the Cheyenne Central Avenue sign, circa 1960. Note the button reflectors installed on the first line. Work continued on the remainder of the letters.

changed along with the reflective properties. An overhead highway sign is much larger than a sign from the 1960s. This boost in size is largely because of an increased number of aging drivers and higher speed limits. After the years of cat-eye and button reflectors, WYDOT began silk screening signs in conjunction with the use of high intensity adhesive. A sign’s base material would be the HIP film and the contrasting color would be silk-screened over the background. The silk-screened image was semi-transparent, letting the reflectivity of the sign shine through the inking when headlights from an oncoming car lit it up. Stop, yield and many various yellow caution signs are good examples of the silk-screened signs WYDOT has produced. The caustic fumes of the silk screening process, along with the new adhesive technology, shifted WYDOT away from making signs in this manner. “We still have many of those silk-screened signs currently in stock and we deliver them out to the districts as they are needed,” says Calaway. “We don’t mass produce the signs any more, the way we did when we silk-screened them. We build them one at a time, now.” Continued on next page

Vince Lucero explaining the retired silkscreening system. He is displaying the screen that was used for both the Wyoming highway and the roadside memorial placards.

July 2013




Photo: WYDOT archive

The sign shop stocks quantities of reflective materials which comes in the form of large rolls. The rolls range from the specialty diamond grade adhesive to transparent overlay film. The more expensive of these materials, diamond grade sheeting in yellow and white, is used only in critical warning areas. The yellow diamond grade adhesive is used on warning signs in critical areas, while the white is used on overhead guide signs. The up-front cost of the diamond grade sheeting is significant, but in the long run, WYDOT will save money in the reduction of overhead lamps needing to illuminate these signs. The other material, HIP, also lines the walls, but in far more color choices. It is very reflective, but not nearly as fluorescent and bright as the diamond grade. WYDOT’s sign shop also uses EC

(ElectroCut™) transparent overlay film. Reflective values of the diamond grade sheeting and HIP show through the EC film making it a necessity in the shop. Two cutting plotters are used to produce the die cut vinyl that is placed over the reflective base material. One of the plotters is used in cutting the heavyduty HIP material and the other plotter is used to cut the EC film, which is lighter in weight. These plotters cut each letter, number and symbol found on road signs in the state. A simple font change from all uppercase letters to a combination of upper and lowercase letters has resulted in a slight increase in sign width, with the benefit, according to studies, of signs that are more easily read and comprehended by drivers. Once the letters have all been cut and the signage has been laid out, the adhesive backgrounds are married to an aluminum facing. The large overhead signs are aluminum facing paired with plywood backing. Angle iron is mounted on backs of signs and each width of iron is drilled to exact specifications – if there is a replacement sign to be hung, it will be an exact fit. Lastly, closure strips are



n July 2013

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Mike Calaway standing next to a wall of high intensity prismatic adhesive rolls.

placed on the back of overhead signs after angle iron is mounted on the backs. These strips do not affect the sign structurally; they just keep light from shining through the seams. WYDOT can expect 10 to 12 years from each sign facing. When a renewal becomes necessary, a new overlay aluminum facing is made and riveted directly to the current plywood backing by crews based in each field district. Reusing the thick plywood backing and only reproducing the facing saves in costs; the backing, if sealed properly with a weather-proof clear seal, has a life span approaching four decades. WYDOT’s sign shop has been improving their processes over the decades and striving to use the best that technological advances have to offer, and consequently, motorists can continue to look forward to seeing what’s new in signage along the roadways. – Carlie Van Winkle

(Above) The difference in reflective adhesives. The sign on the right is the HIP adhesive. (Below) Lucero demonstrates the die cutting of white lettering for a current project in the shop.

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Calaway and Lucero braving the negative six degree wind chill to install a new directional sign in Cheyenne, Jan. 1997.

The results are in from the most recent WYDOT employee satisfaction survey, conducted during March, with results issued the following month. The survey received more than 900 responses, yielding a response rate of about 55 percent. Although the overall response rate declined slightly from the previous employee survey, conducted three years ago, favorable responses of “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” increased from the 69.4 percent attained in 2010 to 72.2 percent in 2013. WYDOT Executive Staff reports receiving many written comments, with the most common concern being, “wages are not keeping up with rising costs.” “We hear you and we share your concerns,” Director John Cox said. “While compensation levels are set by the Legislature, we voice our concerns whenever appropriate with lawmakers and the Governor’s Office.” In a recent cabinet meeting with state agency directors, Gov. Matt Mead stated that employee welfare and compensation remains a priority in his ongoing conversations with legislators, Cox added. “It is rewarding to see that the second most common comment is that ‘WYDOT is a great place to work’,” continued Cox. “We think so, too; and it is the dedicated employees who make it such a wonderful place to work.”

“Would you recommend WYDOT as a good place to work?”


Cox said it was good news that 90 percent of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that they know what is expected of them at work and that almost as many (89 percent) also believe their supervisor holds them accountable. Two questions that received the lowest favorable responses were “I receive recognition when I do good work” (54 percent) and “Overall, there is good teamwork between different work groups at WYDOT” (47 percent). “There is still plenty of opportunity for improvement in providing recognition for a job well done and in intergroup teamwork,” Cox said. Out of the 918 survey respondents, more than 390 took the additional time to provide comments on one or more subject. Cox is grateful to those who provided feedback on the survey as that effort helps WYDOT continue to be a great place to work. A comparison of the 2010 and 2012 survey results, as well as a summary of the 2012 comments, can be found on the Web site under the Strategic Performance tab. n

“I can see a connection between my day-to-day duties and WYDOT's overall mission.”

20.5% 6.1% 8.1%

23.9% 57.8%

Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree

188 396 204 74 56



22.2% Number of Respondents


Number of Respondents Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree July 2013

219 531 112 41 15




District News Headquarters

Welcome Gilbert Abeyta, Facilities Management-Grounds; Lauren Carver, Right Of Way-Property Management; Darryl Erickson, Driver Services; Patrick Erwin, Driver Services-Policy and Records; Evan Gerwig, Contracts and Estimates; Miranda Hall, Right Of Way-Administration; Heather Kipp, Facilities Management-Grounds; Brian Wyza, Telecommunications-District 1 Radio Shop; Timothy Dolan, Aeronautics-Airports; and James Olsen, I-80 Port of Entry.

Alliek Tomlin, I-80 Port of Entry – 5 years; Bruce Witt, Aeronautics-Flight Operations – 5 years; and Dana Yarger, Bridge-Engineering Design – 5 years.








Faye Whitfield, Patrol Dispatch; and Judy Williams, Right Of Way-Administration.

David Birge, IT Support – 30 years; Michael Shenefelt, Highway Development-Project Development – 30 years; Douglas Crabtree, Geology – 25 years; John O’Connor, Patrol-Capitol Service Protection – 25 years; Shane Poteet, Highway DevelopmentPhotogrammetry/Survey – 10 years; Lloyd Thomas, Bridge Engineering Design – 10 years; Emily Ahearn, Bridge Engineering Design – 5 years; Joshua Anderson, Highway Development-Project Development – 5 years; Steven Berg, Materials-Bituminous – 5 years; Zachary Gutierrez, Highway Development-Project Development – 5 years; Vickie Hintze, Facilities ManagementAdmininstration – 5 years; Janelle Leonard, Highway Development-Engineering Services – 5 years; Craig O’Dell, Patrol-Capitol Service Protection – 5 years; Amy Pearson, Driver Services-CDL – 5 years; Teresa Smith, Aeronautics-Flight Operations – 5 years;



n July 2013

District 1

Welcome John Baxter, Rawlins Construction.

Promotion and Transfers Photo courtesy WHP

Service Awards

Trooper Craig M. O’Dell was awarded his five-year service award with the WHP. Lt. Col. Shannon Ratliff made the presentation. Trooper O’Dell has served with Division H in Rawlins and Division A in Cheyenne. He was recently assigned to Division O in Cheyenne and currently serves on the Executive Protection Detail.

Cheyenne I-80 Port of Entry employee Alliek Tomlin receiving his five year award from Lt. Col. Shannon Ratliff.

Kristin Burkart receiving her fifteen-year service award from Director John Cox.

Gregory McLeod, Cheyenne Maintenance; and Timothy Romig, Cheyenne Patrol.

Service Awards Clyde Harnden, Traffic-Electrical – 30 years; John Evans, Cheyenne Construction – 10 years; Shawn Varland, Cheyenne Mechanics – 10 years; and Whitney Wise, Cheyenne Construction – 5 years.

Photo: Carlie Van Winkle

Benoit Cordoba, Bridge Engineering Design; Melinda Harmon, Motor Vehicle Services-Registration/Title; Susan Hopkins, Highway Project Management Oversight; Alan Moore, Highway Development-Project Development; Julia Ray, Motor Vehicle Services-Registration/Title; and Kathryn Sednek, Highway Development-Project Development.

Photo courtesy WHP

Promotions and Transfers

Retirements Robert Helling, Laramie Maintenance.

District 2


One month ago

Darren Allbright, Wheatland Maintenance – 5 years; Jerome Ciampi, Casper Maintenance – 5 years; Robert Furnival Jr., Kaycee Maintenance – 5 years; and Nicholas Koch, Torrington Construction – 5 years.

William Lamont, Douglas Maintenance; Jerry Schutt, Lusk Maintenance; and William Tower, Casper Maintenance.

Photo: Mark Sebion


Photo: Jeff Goetz

Total number of employees: as of May 30, 2013

Service Awards

Jerry Ciampi (right) receiving his five-year service award from Kurt Miller in Casper.

Bill Tower retired after chalking up more than three decades of service with the Casper maintenance crew. Tower began working with WYDOT in December 1980 as an equipment operator based in Casper. His retirement was honored recently by coworkers at the Casper shop.


Bob Furnival (right) receiving his five-year service award from Calvin Goddard in Casper.

Jerry Schutt, Lusk maintenance, showing off his uniquely decorated cake at his retirement celebration June 4.

Photo: Rick Shaw


Photo: Jeff Goetz

One year ago

District 3


James Yount, Jackson Maintenance – 10 years; and Richard Wilson, Jackson Maintenance – 5 years.

Megan Belcher, Kemmerer Port of Entry; and Shannon Nelson, Kemmerer Port of Entry.

Service Awards Von Merritt, Afton Construction – 40 years; Michael Vandenberg, Rock Springs Construction – 30 years; Barbara Flor, Rock Springs Construction – 25 years; William McGuire, Pinedale Maintenance – 15 years;

Retirements David Shuster, Rock Springs Construction.

Von Merritt caught celebrating his 40-year anniversary at his desk.

Photo: Stephanie Harsha

Staci Erker, District 3 Administration; and Ronald Pizzie, Rock Springs Maintenance.

Photo: Stephanie Harsha

Promotion and Transfers



Dave Shuster (far right) takes a moment from his retirement celebration to gather with coworkers for a photo.

July 2013




District 4

Welcome Earl Collier, Gillette Construction.

Promotion and Transfers

District 5


Service Awards

David Green, TelecommunicationsDistrict 4 Radio Shop.

Paul Thatch, Lovell Maintenance – 20 years; Robert Emmett, Basin Mechanics – 25 years; Lyle Lamb, District 5 Traffic Staff – 15 years; Rodney Webb, Worland Construction – 15 years; and Clarence Hancock, Basin Maintenance – 5 years.

ea Pl

ading! Re

Photo courtesy Ronda Holwell

le Afte yc


se Re c

Jim Butts, Sundance Construction; Chad Greene, Traffic-Electrical; and Dustin Hockett, Buffalo Maintenance.

Buffalo Maintenance hosted a field trip for the Headstart kids in the area.

Photo: Rick Carpenter

April, May and June Service Award Recipients

Service award luncheons are held by the Transportation Commission for employees celebrating milestones of 25 years of service or greater. Service award recipients at this month’s luncheon: (Back row from left) Mike Sandidge, Dave Birge, Jim Dahill, Sherm Wiseman, Jeff Frazier. (Front row from left) Clyde Harnden, Gail Cassel, David Fedrizzi, Tom Carpenter, and Gary Curry.



n July 2013

ment of the sump/floor drain system. The additions of salt and brine chemicals to our snow removal processes are introducing new issues to older shops around the area. The sump grates and framing in some shops are failing due to the extreme oxidation caused by the chemicals, rapidly deteriorating the metals and concrete. The older systems were built with mild steel, and not coated with rust protection. Due to limited funding and high private contractor estimates, this was not the first time Maynard has been asked to apply his knowledge of concrete and the skills he attained from a previous career. When he and Christian were asked if they would be willing to take on such a project, they readily accepted. A big thanks for a job well done need go to MayDubois shop raceway framed and ready for concrete (top) and the nearly completed nard, Christian and system. all those helping. We can rest at ease knowing these local shops will, literally, not fall through the cracks (pun definitely intended). – Mike Hitshew and Don Detimore

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Photo courtesy Mike Hitshew

With a slow and mild winter, followed by steady spring snows, many crews have been rushing to get their spring maintenance work finished up before they need to move on to patching, paving and chip sealing. This spring maintenance work typically includes budgeted work such as fence repair, delineation, cleaning of ditches and possibly, a major pipe replacement, fence reconstruction, or some erosion repair. Some crews and a few select employees have been asked to take on major facility projects requiring knowledge and skills normally found outside those required of a WYDOT Maintenance employee. The employees spearheading the projects were equipment operator Kevin Maynard and heavy equipment operator Jake Christian, both of the South South Pass grating during reconstruction (top) Pass crew. and the new system. A couple of these “beyond the job description” projects in both the South Pass and Dubois Maintenance shops included the tearing out of worn, rusted maintenance shop floor sump grates, vaults, raceways and failed concrete. The projects required new concrete, new stainless steel frameworks and galvanized grates. The projects started in November, with the bidding and purchasing of materials from various vendors throughout the state. Once the framing materials arrived, Maynard and Christian began building the frames, with additional help from another WYDOT employee, Lander mechanic Martin Christian, who applied his expertise in welding. When the time was right, they tore out the sump and floor drain system at the South Pass shop. With the assistance of their co-workers, they were able to complete the project in two and a half weeks. With that proven success, the duo was asked to tackle the same issue in the Dubois shop, which happened to be a much larger project. The Dubois shop project required the complete removal and rebuilding of the floor drains and sumps. About halfway through completion of the Dubois project, Maynard, Christian and the additional personnel, were called away to tend to their day-to-day maintenance activities. Fortunately, Maynard chose a specific point in which they could stop the construction, leaving the Dubois shop in a usable condition for the remainder of the summer. Both Maynard and Christian will return to Dubois after the paving and chipping season, probably sometime in August, to complete the tear-out and replace-

Photo courtesy Mike Hitshew

Noteworthy Beyond the job description

Transportation commissioners were given a tour of the license plate facility in Cheyenne after the June commission luncheon. Steve Lund, second from right, detailed how each license plate is made.

July 2013




Spoonemore completes term as committee chair for national winter maintenance research program

on the department’s avalanche program, and he and Spoonemore took the committee on a field trip to the Glory Bowl to see where new avalanche control technology is being used. Spoonemore says WYDOT has benefited from the opportunity to help shape the direction of national winter maintenance research. Some of the Clear Roads projects that have been most valuable to the department include: • A cost-benefit analysis toolkit that has helped the department determine when an investment in a new winter maintenance strategy will save money in the long run;

Maintenance Staff Engineer Cliff Spoonemore completed a two-year term in May as committee chair for the Clear Roads winter maintenance research program, a national initiative with 25 member states. The Clear Roads program (www. focuses on real• A project developing solutions to reduce snowplow opworld testing of winter maintenance erator fatigue, which will increase safety and efficiency; materials, methods and equipment, and with an emphasis on state DOT • Guidelines to help snowplow operators accurately needs and implementable results. calibrate automated sand spreaders, which reduces sand As a pooled fund research program, usage and improves efficiency. Clear Roads’ member states each Clear Roads recruited seven new member states during contribute $25,000 per year to Spoonemore’s tenure as chair, including a few neighbors: Moncreate a $625,000 annual research tana, Idaho, Nebraska and Kansas. This is a key accomplishbudget. This allows the group to ment since every new member allows the program to fund more fund several research projects each Spoonemore research needs. year, with members voting on the “It’s a very good, interactive group,” Spoonemore said of the research topics. committee members. “It’s an amazing attribute how much the WYDOT has been a member of Clear Roads since 2007, and group is willing to think outside the box in solving problems. Spoonemore says the department’s winter maintenance operaWe’re always looking at ideas that come from the regional garages tions have benefited greatly from both the research conducted or shops, identifying local solutions that have the potential to and the opportunity to exchange information with other states. be developed into an application that can be used statewide or “We tend to think our dry, cold winters are unique to Wyonationwide.” ming,” Spoonemore said, “but it turns out that a lot of the chalToward that end, Spoonemore encourages WYDOT staff to lenges we face are shared nationwide. Every state has wind, and submit winter maintenance research ideas. If you have an idea for every state has to deal with snow accumulation and traffic issues. a project, please contact him at Making contacts in other states has allowed us to leverage inforSpoonemore started his career at WYDOT 29 years ago in the mation as well as research dollars. Construction Section, moving to Project Development and then “Sometimes other states are doing exactly what we’re doing, to Maintenance. He began working with winter maintenance but they’ve been where we are already, and the lessons they’ve research eight years ago. n learned can spare us from making mistakes,” he continued. For example, the experiences of Spoonemore’s Clear Roads connections have been valuable as WYDOT has begun adding liquid deicing agents such as brine to its arsenal of snow-fighting tools. Clear Roads held its spring meeting in Wyoming this year, giving Spoonemore a chance to show off his home state. The group met May 7-9 in Jackson to discuss new research proposals and vote on which projects to fund this year. WYDOT Avalanche Technician Jamie The Clear Roads committee held its spring meeting in Jackson this May. WYDOT’s Cliff Spoonemore (front row, fourth Yount gave a presentation from left) just completed a two-year term as the committee chair.



n July 2013

Photo courtesy Cliff Spoonemore


Patrol welcomes new dispatchers

Chinese delegation visits WYDOT

Photo: Rick Carpenter

A delegation from the Jiangsu Transportation Institute (JSTI) in China and the Western Research Institute in Laramie toured WYDOT facilities in Cheyenne in May, exchanging information with WYDOT personnel about their operations.

State Materials Engineer Greg Milburn, center, explains WYDOT’s materials testing process to representatives of China’s Jiangsu Transportation Institute and Western Research Institute.

The delegation, which included Fu Guanhua, chairman of JSTI’s board of directors, toured the Materials Testing Laboratory and conferred with WYDOT Geology program personnel before meeting with the Executive Staff and district engineers to learn about how transportation projects are undertaken in Wyoming. They showed particular interest in how projects are funded, who does the work and what role contractors and consultants

play in the process. The JSTI was established in 1978 as the Department of Transportation for the Jiangsu Province on the east coast of China. It became a private enterprise in 2002, and last year it became a publically owned and traded company. It has 2,700 employees and most of its work continues to be related to highway construction, but it also has expanded into mass transit, railways, aviation, municipal utilities, water works, architecture and environmental evaluation. It was recently certified as China’s national testing laboratory for new materials The company has played a role in China’s growth from about 620 miles of highway nationwide in 1999 to 53,000 miles today, with a goal of reaching 81,000 miles by 2020. The country already has more bridges and tunnels than any other country in the world. The nation’s rapid growth and huge demand for building materials is cited as one reason the cost of highway construcJiangsu Transportation Institute Chairman Fu tion in the United States has doubled in Guanhua, right, converses with consultant Tjah Sutanden during a tour of WYDOT’s Materials the past decade. n Testing Laboratory. July 2013



Photo: Rick Carpenter

Photo courtesy WHP

been given. Dluhos is married and has two daughters. His wife is still active duty military. Most of his family is in Pennsylvania so In March, Patrol welcomed their four newest dispatchers to he’s a Steelers fan, enjoys playing and watching hockey and likes the WHP family. The new recruits attended a six-week basic to cook. training class. The course was filled with learning standard LaVonne Sase moved from Minnesota to Big Horn where operating procedures, Wyoming geography and highways with she spent a lot of time in the mountains hiking and fishing. Sase a focus on primary and secondary roads, 10-code, handling has most recently been an executive assistant for a mental health incoming phone calls, stress management, as well as gaining their facility. She has a daughter and son and one granddaughter. In certification with NCIC (National Crime Information Center). her spare time, Sase enjoys embroidery, reading and walking with Samantha Cheshire is a native her dog Yoshi. of Cheyenne and has worked as a Amber Whitlock was born in service adviser for a car dealership Casper, moved to Alaska and then and as a receptionist. Cheshire enjoys to Colorado. Whitlock is a trained camping, fishing, car shows and EMT/Paramedic and has an associdance. She also likes meeting new ate’s degree in coaching/education. people and socializing with others. Whitlock has coached high school Originally from Maryland, basketball and played basketball at Andrew Dluhos last worked as the collegiate level. She enjoys shootan avionics technician and flight ing, four-wheeling, water sports, engineer for the Air Force. Dluhos reading and spending time with famhas been deployed three times to the The 2013 Patrol dispatchers at graduation with their trainers. ily and friends. n (L to r) Dispatch trainer Heather O’Connor, LaVonne Sase, Middle East and thanks the Air Force Samantha Cheshire, Andrew Dluhos, Amber Whitlock, and for the great opportunities that he’s Capt. Troy McLees.


Noteworthy Campobasso sends Kelsey Campobasso was traveling through a blizzard strewn southeast Wyoming in her compact car on April 17 when disaster struck. The Honda Civic she was driving was involved in a 10-vehicle crash on I-80 near Laramie, pinning her and her car between two semi trucks. She remained pinned in her vehicle for nearly two hours before being extricated by EMTs. “I-80 had limited visibility, icy roads and a reduced speed limit of 45 mph,” said Tim McGary, district maintenance engineer who had been on scene. WHP officers, WYDOT crews and many others aided in getting Campobasso to a hospital. While at Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie, the injuries Campobasso sustained were found to be severe enough to warrant transfer to the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo. Tye Fix, maintenance supervisor, and Al Branscom, Laramie maintenance, were instrumental in the WYDOT snowplow ambulance escort to the Colorado line. A CDOT snowplow crew had been made aware of the road conditions on I-80 earlier in the day by McGary. At the state line, CDOT’s snowplows took over. WYDOT’s tale might have ended at the state line, but Campobasso remembered to thank the WHP troopers and WYDOT crews and many others who helped get her safely to Colorado where she started on her road to recovery. The following is the letter received by the Public Affairs Office from Campobasso. May 18, 2013 Hi. My name is Kelsey Campobasso. You may not remember me, but on April 17, I was in a terrible car crash on I-80 near Laramie. This crash involved many vehicles – about five miles worth – and I got hit by semi-trucks while in my Honda Civic. I’m writing this letter to thank everyone who helped save my life and assist me on my road to recovery. Much of the accident, and the first four days in the hospital I don’t remember, but I was told that many risked their own lives traveling in bad weather to save mine. First responders made sure I was okay while others used the jaws of life to get me out after being pinned in my car for two hours. I was brought by ambulance to Ivinson Memorial Hospital where Dr. Ullrich and others evaluated me and determined I needed to be transferred to the Medical Center of the Rockies (MCR) in Loveland, Colo. Unfortunately, the weather was bad, the roads were all closed and the helicopter was grounded. The hospital staff coordinated a snowplow convoy to help transport me. Snowplow and DOT vehicles from Wyoming and Colorado were present to ensure the three hour transport by ambulance was safe.



n July 2013

Images courtesy Kelsey Campobasso

heartfelt thanks

Once I arrived at MCR, Dr. Cribari and staff assessed my injuries and stabilized me. I spent five days in the ICU and another five days in the post-trauma center. During this time, I saw many medical personnel including doctors, physical, occupational and speech therapists as well as all the nurses who spent 24 hours a day by my side. After leaving the hospital, I was able to return home to Minnesota. I continue to receive continued care to ensure a healthy recovery. I average about one doctor appointment every other day and endure many stabs for my blood. I’m not done with this journey, but I would just like to thank everyone who helped me get to where I am today. Without you, I wouldn’t be here. Since I’ve gotten home, family and friends who have come to see me say it seems as if I was never in an accident. My recovery has been amazing and I’m walking, talking and have returned to my normal personality. Even the doctors don’t believe, after having read my charts and the accident report, that I’m the girl that got pinned between two semis. I was very fortunate to walk away with my life and just as fortunate for all of you who helped me! My family and I send out our sincere thanks.

On a separate note, above, sent with the letter, Campobasso thanks the WHP for their efforts in saving her life.

were stopped when the lights were flashing,” Rintamaki said. “The messages were inspired by the death of a young girl, at Crowheart (U.S. 26/287), who was killed by a driver who passed her bus when lights were flashing.” Beers said Wind River Schools Superintendent Diana Clapp and her students have met several times with legislators in Cheyenne in an attempt to strengthen laws regarding school bus safety. Wind River Schools students will wear T-shirts this fall in support of school bus safety and kids. The T-shirts were purchased as incentive items for the students as part of the federal highway safety funds grant. n

Photo: Rick Carpenter

Boys State delegates tour WYDOT

Boys State delegates met with executive staff June 6. (L to r) Rhett Watson, Chief Engineer Del McOmie, Edgar Arana, Director John Cox, Preston Goehring, Clint Walker and Nathan McMinn.

Edgar Arana of Rock Springs served as “WYDOT Director for a Day” on June 6 as part of the annual Wyoming Boys State sponsored by the American Legion. Arana, Preston Goehring of Carpenter, Rhett Watson of Casper, Nathan McMinn of Cody and Clint Walker of Mountain View met with Director John Cox and Chief Engineer Del McOmie and toured the WYDOT Headquarters complex in Cheyenne. Goehring served as the Highway Patrol colonel, Watson as Aeronautics administrator, McMinn as state geologist and Walker as an attorney. Arana, who plays tennis and soccer at Rock Springs High

School, said he wanted to visit WYDOT to learn about the state’s highway system. Goehring, whose mother, Karen, works in WYDOT’s Information Technology program, is involved in Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes track, basketball and football at Burns High School. Watson said he chose WYDOT’s Aeronautics Division because he is interested in aviation and is in the process of getting his pilots license. He is involved in the Future Farmers of America and the National Honor Society at Natrona County High School. McMinn, who recently completed his junior year at Cody High School and works at Cody Country Printing, said he chose WYDOT because he enjoys geology and wanted to learn how the science is used to help meet the state’s basic transportation needs. Walker, who plays soccer and serves as a volunteer soccer coach and referee in Mountain View, said he wanted to come to WYDOT to learn how roads and bridges are built and managed in the state. n

Photo: Rick Carpenter

A highway safety advertising campaign aimed at the problem of drivers illegally passing school buses on the Wind River Reservation won first place at the June 8 Wyoming Association of Broadcasters Convention in Cheyenne. The campaign, funded through a federal highway safety funds grant from WYDOT’s Highway Safety Office, aired on Fremont County radio stations this past fall and winter. KTAK/KVOW General Manager Ray Rintamaki said “the campaign generated a lot of positive comment.” The campaign used the voices of students and bus drivers from Wind River School District No. 6 and Wyoming Indian School District 14. “It enjoyed wide support from Fremont County schools, citizens and law enforcement officers,” said Cody Beers, WYDOT public relations specialist in Riverton. “Sheriff ’s deputies are continuing to educate citizens on this growing problem through enforcement and the use of stickers placed on their enforcement vehicles through additional funding from this reservation safety grant. Several billboards are still sharing these important safety messages, and we’ll continue the effort this fall.” “The campaign created advertising that used messages recorded by students and bus drivers on the Wind River Reservation who related actual experiences of near misses while the buses

Photo: Rick Carpenter

In The Community Safety award won in District 5

The Boys State delegates shown different facets of WYDOT. (L) Destry Schildmeier showing the young men highway design and (r) Sgt. Jim Gates explaining the components of a typical WHP vehicle.

July 2013




Effective July 1, employees will receive their pay advices only through the Employee Self Service (ESS) portal found on the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) website http://sao. Employees select the link “Employee Self Service (ESS)” on the left hand side of the SAO home page. Benefits of electronic pay advices are: n Immediate access to monthly pay advices. Usually accessible three days before the last working day of the month. n

Early access to most current tax year W-2’s and subsequent tax year W-2 forms.


Access to view pay, deduction and fringe benefit information.


Ability to review leave balances.


Ability to access your ESS account from any location with an internet browser.


Ability to manage employee profile.


Update mailing and home address information.


Update emergency contacts.

For questions relating to the retrieval of your password for the ESS system, please contact the SAO payroll help desk at Instructions on how to access your payroll advice can be found on the WYDOT employee’s intranet site home page, under the Payroll tab and then selecting “Printing Employee Payroll Advice.” Please note: There have been some important changes in the manner an employee’s final paycheck will be processed. Should you have plans to separate from employment or plan on retiring, please contact your HR representative for more information regarding the timeline of a final pay check.



n July 2013

ESS Updates

Pay off your home sooner with our


If you’ve been in your home for a while and have equity built, you can likely pay off your loan sooner than you think with our STREAMLINE Mortgage. 5 years, 7 years, 10 years or anywhere in-between— how quickly you pay it off is up to you! Call, click or come on by to learn more and to apply for your Streamline Mortgage today. All WYDOT employees and their families can belong.

800.442.2392 307.638.4200 Cheyenne • 307.234.2373 Casper July 2013




Photo courtesy Joseph Keele

vin Photo courtesy Cal


WYDOT Outdoors

took some time son construction ck Ja th wi s on River in am Calvin Willi ead on the Salm 29-inch Steelh a tch ca to t ou Idaho.

Talbot Hauffe (left) and Rob Rodriguez, of the WYDOT Transit office, stretching their legs at the District 1 headquarters in Laramie. The co-workers were on their way to visit transit providers in Casper, Dubois and Riverton.



n July 2013

Photo: Carlie Van Winkle

In the chilly winds of April, the Flyin g Pig 5K of Fort Collins, Colo. grabbed the attention of WYDOT employees Jeff Sauter (back) and Christina Spindler (right) of Traff ic as well as WYDOT Traffic retiree Joe Perea and his wife Patsy.

Three pelicans were spotted hunting carp in a lake near WYDOT Headquarters in Cheyenne.

(Right) Ross Doman, District 1 public involvement specialist was spotted riding in the 25th Annual Dead Dog Classic stage race in Laramie.

Photo courtesy Ross Doman

Photo courtesy Christina Spindler

Young Jayden is just three years old and loves to fish! He proudly shows his catch to his proud grandfather, Joseph Keele of the Basin striping crew. The pair were fishing the Shoshoni River just south of Powell.

WTDEA Santora returns as state

Photo courtesy Whitney Wise

board secretary for 2013

(Above) Whitney Wise of Cheyenne construction, finished the Tough Mudder Colorado. The course was more than 10 mi les with 20 obstacles including mu d, water, electroshock, walls an d multiple hill climbs. Wise’s team fin ished in 4.5 hours. Proceeds from the event go to Wounded Warrior Pro ject.

This year’s WTDEA state board secretary is no stranger to the job. Dennis Santora returns for his eighth consecutive year as state board secretary. Santora joined WTDEA four years after being hired as a equipment mechanic in Cheyenne and has been involved since. Out of the 10 consecutive years of membership the WTDEA, Santora has been an officer for nine of them. He first served as the state board District 1 treasurer and has been the state board secretary since. Santora would like to see the WTDEA state board expand more fully into the districts, especially the smaller, more remote areas that currently have little or no participation. He believes spreading the word about WTDEA’s programs would benefit a great many employees across the state. Santora is a Cheyenne native who attended Central High and enlisted in the Army after graduation. He served overseas in Guam and in Vietnam with a K-9 Unit. His military career totalled 16


years; four in active duty service and 12 in the reserve. Prior to his WYDOT service, Santora earned a Bachelor of Applied Science from Colorado State University. In his spare time, Santora is active in FFA and 4-H with his two daughters. He and his wife, with their children, raise livestock and enjoy being outdoors with their horses. n

Photo courtesy Ross Dom an

WyHy Credit Cards with WYDOT or WHP logo to benefit WTDEA Employee Relief Fund Are you looking for a way to contribute to the WYDOT Employee Relief Fund? Through a partnership with WYDOT, WyHy Federal Credit Union is now offering VISA Platinum and Platinum Rewards Credit Cards that feature the WYDOT or WHP logo. Debit cards will follow suit in coming months. For each account opened, WyHy will donate five dollars per card to the WYDOT Employee Relief Fund. WyHy has committed to donating a minimum of $2,500 to the fund annually. The WTDEA Relief Fund provides crisis assistance for WYDOT employees. The WTDEA administers the relief fund program as outlined in SEMM Policy 4-23. All active WYDOT employees are eligible for the relief funds. Up to $1,000 is available to active employees, contingent upon board approval. To request funds, an employee must complete a relief fund form and send it to WTDEA State Board President Ryan Sorenson of Casper Construction or State Board Treasurer Janet Vossler with Headquarters Patrol. n July 2013




Passings WYDOT says goodbye to Sheridan retirees Two agency retirees who worked in the Sheridan area -- Clifford N. Holwell and Loren L. “Smitty” Smith – died less than a week apart in early June. Both men had lengthy careers with Sheridanbased engineerHolwell ing crews and their years with the department roughly mirrored the beginning and end of building the original Interstate 90 through Sheridan County. Holwell, 77, died June Smith 1 in Sheridan. He joined the old Wyoming Highway Department, WYDOT’s predecessor agency, in August 1958, and retired in July 1992 after finishing 34 years of service. Smith, who died June 7 in Sun City, Ariz., was the Highway Department for nearly 26 years between July 1961 and April 1987. He was one of two resident engineers assigned to Sheridan for six years prior to his retirement. Smith also served six years on the Wyoming State Personnel Board. Work on the first section of I-90 in Sheridan County, involving seven miles of the route immediately north of Sheridan, began in 1958, with the new four-lane roadway opening to traffic in September 1961. The last section, from Ranchester to the Montana state line, opened Oct. 10, 1985. Opening of the RanchesterMontana section of I-90 also served to close the final gap in the entire Wyoming Interstate system. n

WTDEA District 3 Back-To-School Raffle 1st prize – $150 gift card 2nd prize – $100 gift card 3rd prize – $50 gift card

Drawing will be held at the September District 3 WTDEA meeting contact Sterling Richardson for more details:

Training ata Glance Here are upcoming training opportunities from WYDOT University and the Transportation Learning Network (TLN) Date Class Jul 10 Header Dou ble Jul 11 Jul 16-17 Jul 30 Jul 30 Jul 31

Coming up in August 2013: Aug 1


How to Motivate Your Employees Cheyenne Goal Setting Cheyenne Train-the-Trainer Cheyenne Rewards and Recognition (8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) Thermopolis Generations in the Workplace Cheyenne Hiring Smart: Staffing for Optimal Performance WYDOT-only TLN Improving Your Ability to Deal with Conflict


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).



n July 2013

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

What did you do this summer? Submit your fun photos for the next WYDOT Outdoors! Submissions deadline for

Medium STRIMKO 169 1 2 2 3 4 © The Grabarchuk Family. All Rights Reserved. More STRIMKO puzzles at

Retiring from WYDOT?

Or, just need to submit a new address so you don’t miss a single issue of Interchange? Give us your name and address and we’ll be sure to put you on our mailing list. Name: Mailing address:

WYDOT Outdoors:



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

July 2013





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

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

July interchange 2013  

July 2013, Vol. 41, Issue 7. The Wyoming Department of Transportation employee news magazine.

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