The recent cold snap has made work more difficult on a number of different industries, including road construction.
Ongoing Federal Land Access Program construction on the South Fork Road (County Road 6WX) has faced the brunt of this obstacle.
“This recent cold snap has dealt us a dose of Wyoming reality and the potential for a second season paving portion may be necessary,” Ben McDonald, a Park County public works project manager, said in an email.
This work is part of the $14.2 million project to provide resurfacing and bridge work from the Forest Service boundary to Cabin Creek Trailhead at the end of the South Fork.
The project has been dealt a number of punches since commencing, with heavy rain in the spring and early fall.
“From the start of the project, our main goal has been to complete the construction in a single season,” McDonald wrote. “We should know about the final paving decision to move forward or delay to next year towards the end of November. If weather does not improve and allow the paving operations, we will be forced to pave next spring.”
After facing unforeseen costs in September, McDonald said work has continued in a positive direction despite the weather hurdles.
Grading is being finished from Valley School to Ishawooa Bridge but progress on this section has slowed since the first October snowfall. Once grading is done paving can occur, but that will be highly weather dependent, McDonald said. There are 7 miles of road that will be paved in this corridor.
If it appears work will not be completed by winter, McDonald said a crushed base surface will likely applied to the entirety of the project along with a possible primecoat sealant. This would leave primarily just the paving portion of work.
McDonald said construction on the new Ishawooa Bridge is not slated to be finished until the end of December – a slight delay from what was forecasted in September. In about three weeks, traffic will be redirected to the north side of the bridge and the old south side will be demolished.
From Ishawooa Bridge to Corral Creek, the most western reaches of the project, crews are installing the last culverts for drainage. They are working on establishing an adequate surface for a crushed base finish before starting paving.
McDonald said as soon as the recent snowpack is melted they will recommence placing crushed gravel on the 5-mile section from Valley School to Cabin Creek. Winter plowing and maintenance will occur from Corral Creek and Cabin Creek until warmer weather returns or the project is completed.