WYO 257 West Belt Loop Opening Thursday

A new highway is set to open Thursday after years of planning, design and construction. Wyoming 257,The West Belt Loop or Casper's West Belt Loop, will open to traffic (likely in the afternoon), Thursday, Dec. 31. The roughly 7.5 mile, two-lane highway connects the Shoshoni Bypass and U.S. 20/26 on Casper's west side to Wyoming 220 in the southwest portion of the city. It will allow for greater access and efficiency on the west side and is likely to reduce the number of through-trucks (those hauling freight not stopping in the Casper area) on highways such as CY Avenue and Wyoming Boulevard. WYO 257 has one significant intersection; with Robertson Road. Traffic on the West Belt Loop has the right-of-way. Stop signs for Robertson Road traffic are posted at the intersection and temporary portable message signs will be in place to remind Robertson Road drivers of the highway's opening. For much of the highway, the speed limit is set at 65 mph. Please be aware there are local accesses along the route and the speed limit dips to 40 near its northern terminus and 45 mph at its southern terminus. One feature of WYO 257 is an overlook area facing Casper Mountain and peaks to the southwest. The overlook is located just north of the North Platte River bridge. Be aware traffic will be entering and exiting the highway at this location. At its junction with WYO 220 the new road features a Westbound on ramp to WYO 220 and a Northbound off-ramp from WYO 220 coupled with a controlled intersection for all other traffic. At its northern terminus, the new highway intersects with U.S. 20/26 at the Shoshoni Bypass junction just west of Mills. Though the highway will open to traffic, not all construction activities have been completed. It's anticipated there will be minor finish work along the highway next season, but any work will be done under traffic and the highway will not be closed. Approximate total cost for the highway is around $36 million. About 90 percent of the funding came from federal highway funds. The remainder is state funds. Wyoming Highway Patrol has indicated they will be patrolling the highway once it opens. #WYDOT #oilcity #news