The public meeting is one of the initial steps in the process of conducting the study with public involvement Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

WILSON, Wyo. — When folks in the valley think of the Teton Pass, several connotations come to mind. Backcountry recreation, scenic views and connection are some of them. But the infamous route can also be described in less endearing terms like danger, parking problems, collisions and traffic.

In a virtual public meeting last night, participants shared these words with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) who alongside other partners is in the process of conducting a study to improve the Teton Pass Corridor. The FHWA shared that they will aim to address all of these concerns.

Results of a survey that asked participants to describe the Teton Pass in two to three words.

The public meeting is one of the initial steps in the process of conducting the study with public involvement. Currently, the FHWA is looking to develop a foundational understanding of needs. In spring 2o22 they will hold an open house which will aim to analyze solutions for addressing needs and in fall 2022 they will submit a draft plan for public review.

Transportation Planning Team Lead Elijah Henley pointed to several key issues that have led to the need for this study. Some of these factors shared by Henley are the high traffic volumes and congestion on WY 22/ID 33, facility overuse and parking congestion, extreme winter weather and challenging topography, resource impacts and safety for all users.

Additionally, Henley explained that with significant regional population and employment growth and increasing demand for year-round recreational opportunities, WYDOT’s mission in providing safe and effective transportation has been impacted and the potential for conflicts has increased.

With that, FHWA Community Planner Hagen Hammons shared the goals of the study which will aim to alleviate the issues being currently seen on the pass.

“Improve the corridor for the safety of all users, advance alternative transportation systems, protect the natural environment surrounding the corridor and identify a range of feasible transportation options that can be advanced by partners,” said Hammons.

Hammons continued by reminding the public that their involvement will be crucial and highly considered in this study. A Q&A at the end of the meeting heard the public’s concerns regarding wildlife, avalanche safety, and changes to the current regulations in place.

The FHWA encourages public participation throughout the Teton Pass Corridor Study process. There will be many opportunities in the planning process for the public.

To participate visit the project website here or send an email to the project email here. 

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Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.