Boomtown Traffic: Why Is It So Hard To Predict And Prevent?


Leigh Paterson/Inside Energy

Nell Bride, owner of the Bill Store, is fighting to get the speed limit reduced in town.

Update: On Tuesday February 17th, the Wyoming House of Representatives and Senate both defeated amendments to put more money into safety upgrades on Highway 59. Governor Matt Mead had asked for $21 million to add more passing lanes on the highway, but the Joint Appropriations Committee agreed to just $17 million to fund repairs on both Highway 59 and U-S 20/26.  Lawmakers said revenues associated with falling oil prices have made the state reticent to spend money.

If you ever take Wyoming Highway 59 between Douglas and Gillette, you might have noticed that there are more state troopers, giving out more citations. In addition to the increased police presence, Governor Matt Mead has proposed nearly 22 million dollars in safety upgrades to this stretch of highway. Why? Since 2010, accidents on this road have nearly doubled, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation. Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson reports:

Check out Leigh’s radio story for more on highway safety during an oil and gas boom.