ALPINE, Wyo. — Bridger-Teton National Forest is getting ready to start some road work this summer, including grading and resurfacing the Greys River Road near Alpine.
The Greys River Road is the biggest project on the docket this season. “Road crews are coordinating maintenance and grading activities to coincide with the delivery of additional gravel that will significantly improve the surfacing of the road in its lower reaches,” said Greys River District Ranger Justin Laycock.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest is also repairing forest roads in Sublette County this week. Scheduling roadwork is a flexible business. “It is weather dependent, and we go where the action is,” said Forest Engineer Mike Oltman. “Each year looks different and this year the snow melted off of Jackson pretty quickly and we have already done maintenance on Fall Creek Road and Cache Creek in Teton County this spring.”
Maintenance also depends on the weather, road conditions, and emergencies. Crews keep an eye on moisture and weather forecasts to pin down the right window. Scheduling requires flexibility, Oltman said.
“If we have a slump, a slide, or a washout where the road is falling away, we try to move our crews there to address the situation,” Oltman said. We always mobilize to try to keep access open.”
With road maintenance comes temporary access restrictions. Expect one-lane closures and delays whenever work is happening. The Forest Service tries to plan around holidays and weekends in order to keep roads open and delay-free.
“Road maintenance is an important priority on the Forest, and while it is a temporary inconvenience to forest users, we believe that the long- term benefits of the road improvements will far outweigh the short term inconvenience,” Laycock said.
Forest visitors should remain alert while driving Forest roads, look for road construction signs, drive slowly and give road equipment a wide berth. Be prepared to adjust travel plans based on actual conditions. The dates for the scheduled road work across the Forest are shared with District offices and are approximate, as they may shift based on weather conditions. As always, please drive at a speed that’s appropriate for conditions on any given day.
There are many miles of road on the Bridger-Teton and every mile isn’t maintained every year. “We target 300-miles of road maintenance every year – and that doesn’t just mean fixing ruts and potholes,” Oltman said. “Road maintenance consists of a whole suite of activities including everything from blading, to culvert cleaning, adding gravel, sidearm mowing, culvert replacement and ditch reconstruction, so you can’t measure it by trying to say all that needs to be done is scraping 300-miles each year of the 2,000-miles of road on the entire Forest.”
Many of the higher use roads on the Forest are regraded in a season, and some road work activities go as far as doing heavy maintenance or something that borders reconstruction.
The Forest Service will announce the road work schedule for Greys River Road once it knows when travel will arrive. They plan to grade the road roughly a week before applying the new gravel.
About The Author
Buckrail @ Shannon
Shannon is a Wyoming-raised writer and reporter pursuing a master's in journalism at Boston University. Jackson shaped her into an outdoorswoman, but a love for language and the human condition compels her to write. She believes there's no story too small to tell nor adventure too small to take.
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