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High winds may close I-25 to lightweight high profile vehicles

Interstate 25Interstate 25 in southeast Wyoming may be closed to lightweight and high profile vehicles beginning this evening (Wednesday, March 30) to curb the risk of truck blowover crashes due to high winds.

The closure will be made if wind gusts reach 65 mph or higher as forecast. When winds reach those speeds, experience shows the potential rises substantially for large, but light, vehicles to be tipped over.

A similar wind storm which struck southeast Wyoming in mid-February caused at least six truck blowover crashes, one of which was fatal for the driver.

This evening’s possible closure, aimed primarily at empty tractor-trailer combinations, or those units carrying relatively light loads, would affect about 80 miles of I-25, from the Colorado state line northward to the Wheatland area. The road will remain open to passenger vehicles and trucks carrying heavier loads.

The closure will begin when gusts exceed 65 mph, which is forecast to begin as early as 6 p.m. and continue into tomorrow afternoon. The closure could be enacted even sooner if a blowover crash is reported. Drivers who violate the closure are subject to legal penalties.

Several routes in Wyoming, including I-25 in southeast Wyoming and most of I-80 across southern Wyoming, were posted with a “no light trailer” advisory earlier on Wednesday after wind gust exceeded 45 mph.

The staff of WYDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) use data from a system of automated weather reporting stations to continuously monitor road and weather conditions across the state. TMC personnel also have the ability to quickly update messages which appear on electronic signs posted along the roadside at numerous locations. They also update the 511 Travel Information system (www.wyoroad.info), which includes the 511 Notify service which enables motorists to receive travel advisories, including closure notifications, via e-mail and/or text message

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