“We’ve had wildlife we had to accommodate. We have wetlands we’ve had to accommodate,” Carlson continued. “We have landslides; everybody thinks those mountains are sitting still, but they’re not. They’re moving all the time.”
The grand opening tour left the Headwaters in Dubois the morning of the event with a 54-passenger Dubois school bus accompanied by a 15-passenger van. Nearly 65 people signed up to tour the Togwotee Trail project corridor. Five stops were scheduled where passengers could get outside and experience the trail first hand.
“During the bus tour, participants weathered rain, snow, and finally some sunshine with an amazing rainbow with both ends visible. As a fortuitous sign, one end of the rainbow actually appeared to stretch down onto the highway,” wrote Judith Strausberger, WYDOT’s Togwotee Trail public involvement specialist.
One of the tour stops was the wildlife arch located 10.5 miles east of Moran Jct. This site was chosen for the arch after studies showed extensive use as a wildlife crossing.
This is also the location of the Rosie’s East landslide, where a toe berm was constructed to help stabilize the large, creeping landslide. The toe berm area is south of the highway and below the wildlife arch.
A lunch-stop at the new maintenance shop included humorous anecdotes and fiddle playing by Les Hamilton in his role as Roamin’ Wyomin’, construction cowboy.
Lyle Lamb, WYDOT project engineer in Dubois during most of the Togwotee Trail project series, related facts about the seven-year reconstruction of the 38-mile corridor. He answered questions, and described the innovative construction techniques used on the Brooks Lake, Togwotee Pass/ Fourmile Meadows, Rosie’s Ridge, and Buffalo Fork River sections of the project.