WYDOT’s Authorized Travel Program helps motorists get to their destinations

December 19, 2018

The Wyoming Department of Transportation has a program that would allow motorists to travel on certain sections of a closed road if authorities deem conditions are safe.

WYDOT has been accepting applications for its authorized travel program since the fall.  Motorists typically apply around the fall to be prepared during the winter months when road closures occur. The WYDOT Authorized Travel program, or WAT, has been in place for eight years.

“The WAT program enables motorists to travel on sections of otherwise closed roads if nearby conditions are safe,” said WYDOT Director Bill Panos. “This program is vital to local traffic because it helps those motorists get to their destinations without having to wait for the entire stretch of the closed road to reopen.”

The program gives motorists permission to travel if their destinations are between the closure gates and impassable portions of the road.

“WAT is designed primarily for local commuters who travel between home and work, school or for doctor’s appointments,” said Suzie Roseberry, ITS developer. 

WAT doesn’t give blanket permission for motorists to travel during every road closure. The only time WYDOT will notify a person is if the section they requested is safe to travel and not impacted by any events that closed the road initially.

“We only close roads when it’s necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public,” said Vince Garcia, WYDOT’s GIS/ITS manager. “Our closure points are limited to where WYDOT has gates to block traffic. That means portions of a closed road may be passable if an area that’s impacted by a crash or storm is miles away.”

Besides individual motorists, businesses can sign up for WAT. The business program allows a person to manage WAT subscriptions for multiple drivers within their organization.

To apply for the WAT program, motorists can visit the Wyoming Travel Information Service website and click on the WAT icon. Motorists will need to submit justification for travel, road sections they need to travel, and driver contact and vehicle information.

After motorists apply, the Wyoming Highway Patrol will review the applications. If approved, drivers will receive an email when they are authorized to travel on sections of closed roads. Motorists will also receive an identification number that will allow them to access an automated phone system to check if they are authorized to travel on sections of closed roads. 

Motorists without internet access can call WYDOT’s Public Affairs at (307) 777-4375 to request a WAT program application.

For additional information about this news release, contact Aimee Inama, senior Public Affairs specialist, at (307) 777-4013.