Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

A Wyoming highway critical for commuters will reopen three weeks after a landslide

ENT

A Wyoming highway critical for commuters will reopen three weeks after a landslide
ENT

ENT

A Wyoming highway critical for commuters will reopen three weeks after a landslide

2024-06-26 04:07 Last Updated At:04:11

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Crews were almost done building a temporary route on Tuesday around a landslide that closed a vital road for thousands of workers in a western Wyoming resort town.

Wyoming Department of Transportation officials were eyeing Friday to reopen Wyoming Highway 22. The road over Teton Pass near the Idaho state line has been closed since the landslide sent both lanes crashing into a deep ravine June 8.

No one was hurt when the pavement gave way. The road was already closed because another landslide had washed mud and debris across the road nearby.

Yet the collapse was a big headache for thousands of commuters. Many people work in Jackson — a ski and tourism hub at the doorstep of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks where the average home costs millions — and live in more affordable eastern Idaho.

The destroyed highway has been forcing them to take a different route to the south, adding over an hour to their commute each way.

Cars will need to slow down through the temporary section to 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour) but won't have to stop, said Bob Hammond, an engineer with the Wyoming Department of Transportation. The two paved lanes will span about 600-700 feet (180-230 meters).

“We have a steeper grade, which really isn’t that big of a problem. But the turns are a little tighter,” Hammond said during a news media site tour Tuesday.

A permanent fix costing perhaps upward of $20 million will take longer, Hammond said.

This satellite image released by Maxar Technologies a damaged section of Teton Pass near Jackson, Wyo., Tuesday, June 11, 2024. ((Satellite image ©2024 Maxar Technologies via AP)

This satellite image released by Maxar Technologies a damaged section of Teton Pass near Jackson, Wyo., Tuesday, June 11, 2024. ((Satellite image ©2024 Maxar Technologies via AP)

Next Article

Nashville-area GOP House race and Senate primaries top Tennessee's primary ballot

2024-07-22 22:56 Last Updated At:23:01

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A first-term Tennessee congressman backed by former President Donald Trump will face a Republican challenger who calls the lawmaker ineffective, a contest that is among the top races in the state's August primary election.

The primary will also cement who will be the Democratic contender in the fall matchup for the seat that Republican U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn is running to keep.

The U.S. Senate contest will top the ballot, with contested Republican and Democratic races. And a full slate of legislative contests is on tap, with all 99 House and about half the 33 Senate seats up for grabs, including a handful of prominent fights for sitting Republican lawmakers and in open GOP seats.

U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles, who represents one of three Republican districts that carve through Democratic-leaning Nashville, will face off against Nashville Metro Councilmember Courtney Johnston in the Republican primary next week.

A look at what is at stake on Aug. 1:

Two years ago, Ogles didn't nab Trump's endorsement until after he won a crowded primary for an open seat made possible by Republican redistricting of largely Democratic Nashville.

This election, Trump didn't waste any time backing Ogles, throwing him his support last year before many others were considering tossing their hat in the race.

Yet his opponent, Johnston, is hoping that Ogles has irked enough Republicans by creating headaches over questions about his resume, inaccurate campaign finance reporting and headline-grabbing approach to lawmaking.

Johnston so far has outraised Ogles, with campaign checks from prominent Tennessee Republicans including former U.S. Sens. Bill Frist and Bob Corker and former Gov. Bill Haslam. She also is getting a boost from a group of Nashville-area business figures, such as real estate developer Tony Giarratana and businessman and Nashville SC pro soccer team owner John Ingram, who have given to her campaign and helped fuel a complimentary super PAC.

Ogles is relying on outside help from the Americans for Prosperity, the Koch family's well-heeled free-market group that once employed the Republican as its state director. One of his state's senators, Bill Hagerty, and several of his Tennessee GOP colleagues in the House have endorsed him. He has received campaign donations from House Speaker Mike Johnson.

Ogles, a member of the Freedom Caucus, was among the Republican holdouts in Kevin McCarthy’s prolonged speakership nomination in January 2023, voting against him 11 times before switching to support him. When McCarthy was ousted in October, Ogles voted against removing him.

Ogles has faced scrutiny for issues outside the Capitol. For instance, he ultimately replied that he was “mistaken” when he said he graduated with an international relations degree after a local news outlet raised questions over whether he had embellished his resume.

Ogles also doubled back on his reporting that he loaned his 2022 campaign $320,000, in recent months fixing the report to remove the loan.

On the Democratic side, Maryam Abolfazli is running opposed.

Eight congressional seats in Tennessee are Republican held. The ninth is represented by a Democrat.

A slate of Democratic hopefuls are vying to become their party's Senate nominee in the fall, where they'll likely face off against Blackburn as she runs for a second six-year term.

This includes state Rep. Gloria Johnson, who shot to national fame last year after surviving a Republican-led expulsion effort for her participation in a gun control demonstration.

Last year, days after a school shooting that killed six people, Johnson joined fellow Democratic Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones as they walked to the front of the state House floor with a bullhorn. The trio joined the chants and cries for gun control legislation by protesters in the public galleries and outside of the chamber.

The trio were quickly dubbed the “Tennessee Three” as they soon faced expulsion hearings for violating House rules. Pearson and Jones, who are both Black, were expelled, while Johnson, who is white, was spared by one vote. Shortly after the expulsion vote, Johnson quickly noted that she avoided expulsion likely because she was white. Republicans denied race was a factor.

Johnson, 62, has been a critic of Blackburn’s policy positions, arguing that most Tennesseans want “common sense gun legislation” and better access to reproductive care. According to latest campaign disclosure reports, Johnson has around $2 million available after raising $4.8 million since entering the race.

Blackburn, 71, has opposed gun control measures throughout her political career and has deflected when asked whether she supports a national ban on abortion, saying that she supports the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a constitutional right to abortion and that the issue should be left to voters. Before Roe v. Wade was overturned, in 2020 and prior years she voted to advance a bill that would have banned abortion at 20 weeks.

As of early July, Blackburn has $9.2 million cash on hand after raising $3.9 million during the second quarter of 2024.

Tres Wittum, a 37-year-old former Tennessee legislative staffer, is the only Republican running against Blackburn.

In the primary, Johnson is running against Memphis community activist and organizer Marquita Bradshaw. Bradshaw won the Democratic Senate nomination in 2020, and she lost the general election to Republican Bill Hagerty by 27 percentage points.

Other Democrats running are Civil Miller-Watkins and Lola Denise Brown.

FILE - Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., speaks during the Republican National Convention on Monday, July 15, 2024, in Milwaukee. The Tennessee primary on Thursday, Aug. 1, will determine the Democratic challenger facing off against Blackburn as she runs for a second six-year term. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

FILE - Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., speaks during the Republican National Convention on Monday, July 15, 2024, in Milwaukee. The Tennessee primary on Thursday, Aug. 1, will determine the Democratic challenger facing off against Blackburn as she runs for a second six-year term. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

FILE - Tennessee Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, announces her candidacy to run for the U.S. Senate during an event, Sept. 5, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. If Johnson cinches the Democratic nomination in the the Tennessee primary Aug. 1, 2024, she will face Sen. Marsha Blackburn in November. (AP Photo/George Walker IV, File)

FILE - Tennessee Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, announces her candidacy to run for the U.S. Senate during an event, Sept. 5, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. If Johnson cinches the Democratic nomination in the the Tennessee primary Aug. 1, 2024, she will face Sen. Marsha Blackburn in November. (AP Photo/George Walker IV, File)

FILE - U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles, R-TN., speaks during a news conference near Manhattan Criminal Court during the trial of former President Donald Trump on May 16, 2024, in New York. Ogles will face off against Nashville Metro Council member Courtney Johnston in the Republican primary Aug. 1. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

FILE - U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles, R-TN., speaks during a news conference near Manhattan Criminal Court during the trial of former President Donald Trump on May 16, 2024, in New York. Ogles will face off against Nashville Metro Council member Courtney Johnston in the Republican primary Aug. 1. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

Recommended Articles