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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Representatives Harriet Hageman (R-WY) and Mike Simpson (R-ID) sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide necessary federal assistance to the Wyoming Department of Transportation as it works to repair Teton Pass following a catastrophic landslide that wiped out a section of the highway.

“We stress the urgency of restoring travel for more than 7,000 daily drivers between the greater Jackson area of Wyoming and Victor, Idaho. The highway closure jeopardizes livelihoods and impacts a significant portion of the workforce—around 15%— that routinely commutes to Jackson from Idaho,” said the senators and representatives.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon issued a disaster declaration to ensure the state has access to emergency federal funding to repair the highway, which serves as a crucial connector for not only employees and residents between Idaho and Wyoming, but also is critical for tourism as it connects Idaho to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.

The senators and representatives stressed the urgency of this situation, as the alternate route adds more than an hour to the commute each way.

For a copy of the letter, click here. The full text is below.

June 12, 2024
The Honorable Pete Buttigieg
Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, D.C. 20590

Dear Secretary Buttigieg:

We write regarding the June 8th catastrophic structural failure at mile marker 12.8 on Wyoming State Highway 22, also known as Teton Pass. The restoration of Teton Pass is critical for thousands of residents in Wyoming and Idaho, local businesses and services, and the region’s economy.
We appreciate your recent calls and personal attention to this over the weekend and as we determine next steps to restore the highway. We stress the urgency of restoring travel for more than 7,000 daily drivers between the greater Jackson area of Wyoming and Victor, Idaho. The highway closure jeopardizes livelihoods and impacts a significant portion of the workforce—around 15 percent— that routinely commutes to Jackson from Idaho. The alternative route adds a burdensome additional hour (or more) of travel time each way on roads and through communities not designed to handle the extra traffic. Highway 22 is a critical connector between Idaho and Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Teton County, Jackson Hole and countless outdoor destinations for visitors from around the world to enjoy.

As you are aware, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon issued a Declaration of Emergency in Executive Order 2024-06. The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) plans to submit the requisite documentation for emergency relief funds in the immediate future. We ask that emergency relief funds be provided as expeditiously as possible for any eligible short and long-term means of restoring travel on Highway 22.

Thank you again for your ongoing efforts to facilitate restored travel over Teton Pass and alleviate the hardships on those who depend on this vital corridor.

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