1970: A Milestone for the Interstate Highway System is Achieved in Wyoming

October 3, 1970

In Wyoming, a 77-mile (123.9-kilometer) segment of Interstate 80 between the city of Laramie and community of Walcott Junction was officially opened to traffic. This section remains the longest stretch of the Interstate Highway System to make its debut at one time without any portion of the entire length previously opened.

The second longest segment of the Interstate Highway System in that category had opened nearly eight years earlier; it was based in Wyoming as well and specifically encompassed a 65-mile (104.6-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 90 between the cities of Buffalo and Gillette.

The dedication ceremonies for I-80 took place in Arlington, which is northwest of Laramie. Stanley K. Hathaway, governor of Wyoming, cut a ribbon to formally open the route that Saturday. Other individuals participating in those festivities included several state highway department officials; and Ralph R. Bartelsmeyer, deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

Construction on that 77-mile (123.9-kilometer) segment had begun in the fall of 1966, and this section was the final link of I-80 between the state capital of Cheyenne and Wyoming’s boundary with Utah to be completed.   

Photo Credit: formulaone (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)

For more information on the opening of the Laramie-Walcott Junction segment of Interstate 80 in Wyoming, please check out https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byday/fhbd1003.htm

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