The Wyoming Department of Transportation Wednesday, Dec. 13, said it will receive more than $26.6 million through the 2023-2024 federal Rural Surface Transportation Grant, which will be used to build about 365 truck parking spaces along Interstate 80 in Evanston.
“This is a crucial project for Wyoming. It's an investment in our road infrastructure that will help address pedestrian and vehicle safety hazards that occur when winter weather forces the closure of I-80,” Governor Mark Gordon said. “Importantly, it will alleviate the impacts to the community caused by hundreds of tractor-trailers seeking somewhere safe to park.”
Due to its proximity to the Utah state border, Evanston can be inundated with commercial vehicles and other traffic during a long-duration closure of Interstate 80, which can strain local resources, street parking, and other infrastructure. Evanston is located near the southwest corner of the state and about 83 miles from Salt Lake City.
Parking area construction is expected to begin in spring 2026 depending on design timing, project letting schedule, and other potential scheduling considerations. The total project cost is about $33.3 million, according to the department.
“Truck parking continues to be one of the highest priorities for both truck drivers and motor carriers,” said Sheila Foertsch, president and CEO of the Wyoming Trucking Association. “Safe, well-lit, accessible parking makes the nation's highway system safer.”
Beyond serving as a safe place to wait out Wyoming’s infamous winter weather, Foertsch added that the parking is essential to the industry by providing a place for drivers to meet their required hours of service breaks.
This is the third competitive federal grant in 2023 that WYDOT has been awarded, which WYDOT Director Darin Westby said should bring the state a great sense of pride.
“This is just another example of how hard the people of WYDOT work to make use of any available resources for the betterment of Wyoming’s transportation systems and the residents, tourists, and commercial drivers who use them every day,” Westby said. “We appreciate the support from the Governor’s office and the Uinta County Senior Citizens Board, both of which were integral to us receiving these federal funds.”
The Uinta County Senior Citizens Board has also committed to providing limited on-demand transit service to the truck parking areas, once constructed, to help manage truck congestion and help truck drivers reach critical services.
The Wyoming Association of General Contractors, Wyoming Trucking Association, City of Evanston, Uinta County, and U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis also formally and publicly expressed their support for the project.
With this grant, WYDOT has applied for and received a total of about $64.2 million in competitive federal grants in 2023.