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Mudslide Claims Highway Until Further Notice [VIDEO]


The Wyoming Department of Transportation suspended efforts Wednesday to clear a highway covered by a mudslide 24 miles south of Jackson. The reason, the mudslide is still sliding, and the volume of material would quickly overwhelm any effort to stop it.

U.S. Highway 26-89 will remain closed until the hill adjacent to the roadway stabilizes and then can be cleared.

According to a WYDOT release, the estimated 40,000 cubic yards of mud and material was moving at a rate of a foot per minute. WYDOT District Engineer John Eddins said no amount of earth moving will be able to clear the road until the mudslide stops.

Department crews stopped their attempt to clear the road on Monday because it appeared the debris clearing was further destabilizing the slide above the road.

Meanwhile, commuters will need to take a detour through Teton Pass, going through the Idaho towns of Victor, Swan Valley and Irwin, taking Wyoming Highway 22, Idaho Highway 31 and U.S. Highway 26. The detour adds 36 miles and nearly an hour to the trip.

There are travel restrictions to accommodate Teton Pass commuters. All trailer traffic, including commercial vehicles, are prohibited from 6 to 9 in the morning and 3 to 6 in the afternoon. The hours of travel restriction also apply to vehicles pulling boats and campers.

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