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Wyoming highway signs vandalized

Posted at 5:54 AM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:51:36-04

CODY, Wyo. – Vandals hit nighttime speed limit signs west of Cody on U.S. 14/16/20.

Seven nighttime speed limit signs were cut down in an act of vandalism late Friday or early Saturday.

Wyoming Department of Transportation officials are working with Park County and state law enforcement on several leads and tips in the vandalism case, but officials are asking for additional information from potential witnesses.

“Someone had to have heard or saw something to aid law enforcement in its investigation,” said Wyoming Department of Transportation District Engineer Pete Hallsten of Basin. “Citizens have supported the 55 mph nighttime speed limits since they were implemented on this 17-mile stretch of highway in 2016. Public comments were overwhelmingly in favor of the speed limit dropping from 70 mph to 65 mph, and citizens in the Wapiti area supported the idea of the 55 mph nighttime speed limit. This irresponsible act is contrary to the public’s wishes for this highway and the valley’s wildlife.”

All seven nighttime speed limit signs were cut down with use of a power saw, and two 30 mph speed limit signs were also stolen near Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center on the current rockfall mitigation project.

“This senseless vandalism is upsetting because it violates the public trust,” Hallsten said. “Thousands of dollars of signs were damaged or destroyed.”

Hallsten encourages citizens with tips about the U.S. 14/16/20 vandalism to call the Wyoming Highway Patrol at 1-800-442-9090 or the Park County Sheriff’s Department at 1-307-527-8700.

The sign vandalism comes as a project to install electronic variable speed limit signs is scheduled to begin this week on U.S. 14/16/20.

The $260,000 project includes installation of electronic variable speed limit signs from the U.S. Forest Service boundary (milepost 27.8) to the Buffalo Bill Dam Parking Area (milepost 44.45) between the east gate of Yellowstone National Park and Cody, according to WYDOT Resident Engineer Todd Frost of Cody.

Frost said the contractor plans to install conduit, sign foundations and electrical service points in the project work zone this fall. “The electric items will not be delivered until March 2019 and will be installed when they arrive,” Frost said. “Most of the work will occur off the roadway. Motorists should expect reduced speed limits through the work zones.”