WYDOT is planning to reopen one lane of the 15th Street bridge in the coming weeks once a traffic control plan is completed and the bridge is evaluated and surveyed for design work to repair the bridge.
The lane is expected to reopen within the next three weeks.
After the lane is open, traffic from both directions will be allowed to cross the bridge one direction at a time. Temporary stoplights will be used to control traffic and weight limits will be restricted.
The 15th Street bridge goes over Interstate 80 and has been closed since May 21, when it was struck by a tractor trailer. The truck destroyed one of the columns that supports the bridge on the north side and damaged another.
Since then, WYDOT’s Bridge Program has been able to evaluate the bridge for safety and determined it is safe for traffic to cross on the southbound side.
Construction to repair the bridge itself isn’t expected until late fall. That’s in part because repairs need to be designed for the bridge and WYDOT still needs to investigate the underground structure of the bridge to see if the collision damaged those components.
After that, a contract will have to be let for the work itself.
The work will entail reconstructing two of the bridge’s support columns plus any other damaged components.
Tim Morton, the district construction engineer for District 1, said part of the difference with this project is that the remainder of the bridge already exists.
WYDOT will continue to update the public on the progress of the bridge work.
Separately from this project, the city of Laramie will be reconstructing 15th Street from Bill Nye Avenue to the ramp leading to the bridge. Work will begin around the end of June.