WYDOT Issues Update on New Teton Pass Temporary Detour, Reopening and More

WYDOT Issues Update on New Teton Pass Temporary Detour, Reopening and More

All Images: Courtesy of Wyoming Department of Transportation

Update 6/29/24: WY-HW 22 has been reopened in it’s entirety thanks to the completion of a paved, two lane detour at milepost 12.8 on Teton Pass. Click here for more information.

In a recent press release, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) announced that with the help of teams from Evans Construction, they are closing in on completing the makeshift detour that would allow the reopening of WY Highway 22, commonly known as Teton Pass. Thanks to the swift work from the engineers, geologists and construction workers involved, WYDOT has announced a tentative date for re-opening the pass. This would cut worker commutes by and hour and a half, and allow tourists to once again flow swiftly between the Idaho and Wyoming sides of the Teton Mountains.

On June 8th, 2024, a large section of winding road that makes up Teton Pass collapsed as the ground beneath it gave way. The road had given signs in the previous days that alerted crew to the instability, such as large cracks in the road and saturated soil. The road had been closed on and off during the 48 hours that preceded the accident, and thankfully no civilians or road crews were present at the time of the collapse.

This new detour will not alter much of the usual travel on Teton Pass. The road crews have moved mass amounts of earth at milepost 12.8 to construct a new section of road on the inside of the bend. The detour will have a paved section of road with two 12-foot lanes, one going in each direction. There will also be concrete barriers to ensure safety for those traveling. They’ve also reinforced the road’s stability, making extra efforts to use, “quality material to build a solid foundation for the road.” Currently, WYDOT has reorganized the landscape and is preparing to pave. The recent press release stated that WYDOT plans on opening shortly after paving is completed. For the time being, however, travelers heading between Tetonia, ID and Jackson, WY are still asked to take US 26 through Snake River Canyon.

 “WYDOT’s engineers, geologists and other licensed professionals with several decades of experience have done their due diligence to ensure the detour is safe for traffic.” – WYDOT Director Darin Westby

Along with the road collapse at milepost 12.8, the area also experienced a massive mudslide at milepost 15. While the incidents were separate, both were undoubtedly aided by the saturated ground. The road has been cleared, and teams are currently at work constructing a box culvert in the area to help improve future drainage. The work will continue when the temporary detour is open, and will reportedly have no effect on traffic when WY Highway 22 is back up and running.

An aerial view of the current detour being built on Teton Pass, with the June 8th road collapse at the top of the photo.

While many were expecting a more promising announcement with a set date for reopening the pass, this should still be taken as a win. Employees and businesses on either side of The Teton’s have already suffered economic consequences, which was a fear many locals expressed to us in our original article published after the collapse. However, a quick reopening is the best we can all hope for.

Team members of both WYDOT and Evans Construction have been no doubt working tirelessly to pull of a swift restoration. This alone is no easy task, especially when under immense social pressure. We hope bring you more good news regarding the reopening of WY-HW 22 / Teton Pass in coming weeks, if not days. Click here to read the official WYDOT press release.

WYDOT would like to remind drivers to remember to obey all roadside signs, traffic control devices and closures. To receive alerts on this and other road conditions and closures, drivers can sign up for 511 Notify alerts at https://www.wyoroad.info/511/511NotifyAnnouncement.html

Please Note: Both Grand Targhee Resort and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are open for summer operations. Businesses in town on both the Idaho and Wyoming sides of Teton Pass are also open with no announced change in operations. Support the local economies if you visit!

“It’s a difficult time for businesses and workers on both sides of Teton Pass. Many of our guests drive over from Jackson and the commute just got a lot more difficult for everyone. Grand Targhee remains hopeful that there will be a quick solution and in the meantime, our goal is to remain a refuge for Teton Valley residents and guests from afar that are looking for an escape from these trying times.” – Jordan Wilsted, Grand Targhee Resort Sr. Marketing Manager

“We are grateful to the representatives from WYDOT, Teton County, and the Town of Jackson for their swift response to the incident on Saturday. Our Jackson Hole community is incredibly resilient, and it’s times like these when our community comes together and supports one another and visiting guests. Three of the four roads into Jackson, Grand Teton National Park, the Town of Jackson and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are open, and our local businesses are ready for the season to begin. We would love to see you this summer.” – Mary Kate Buckley, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President

This is a developing story. FREESKIER will continue to update posts as events change.

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