Wyoming DEQ announces completion of safety improvement on former mine haul road

A multi-party effort to improve safety and accessibility on Fremont County Road 10, aka Gas Hills Haul Road and Dry Creek Road, is complete.

The project, led by Fremont County and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), will provide safer public travel on this road and reduce the number of travelers stranded miles from the nearest source of help. It will connect Natrona County’s Dry Creek Road (Road 212) through to Wyoming Highway 136 and Fremont County Road 5. Additionally, equipment transport from central Wyoming to the southwest part of the state will be easier, and uranium mining companies will have improved access to mineable uranium sites.

In 2015, the DEQ, Fremont County Board of Commissioners, Cameco Resources and Umetco Mineral Corporation signed an interagency agreement to make improvements to the remaining uranium ore haul road. The road had been used by miners at the now abandoned uranium mines in Fremont County.

The work, which began in June, included rebuilding the road to county standards, applying gravel surfacing and replacing a portion of old road with a new 1.7-mile segment. The project improved 7.6 total miles of road. Revegetation of the disturbed areas also is complete.

The DEQ’s Abandoned Mine Land Division funded $3 million of the work because the road was part of an abandoned mine operation. The Wyoming Business Council funded $1.5 million, Cameco Resources paid for the design of the road, Umetco contributed funding to the project and the Fremont County Commission paid for remaining costs.

As part of the interagency agreement, the commission agreed to adopt the road as a county road – now designated as the Dry Creek Road, Fremont County Road 10, following the improvements and to maintain the road in perpetuity.

Additional entities who were instrumental and supported the work include: the Bureau of Land Management, Finch Ranch, Philps Ranch, Natrona County Road and Bridge, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, the Wyoming Contractors Association, Ingberg-Miller Engineers, Oftedal Construction Inc., Earth Work Solutions, Artery Construction, SWCA Environmental Consultants and Grouse Mountain Environmental Consultants, as well as numerous individuals.

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