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Landslide causes major collapse of Teton Pass

WILSON, Wyoming – On Saturday morning, there was a significant landslide on part of Teton Pass, a vital highway connecting mountainous terrain of western Wyoming and Idaho. The event severed the primary transit link between Jackson, WY and Victor, ID in the area. Officials have refrained from providing a timeline for the repair efforts but anticipate an extended closure of the road. This closure could potentially impact nearly half of the workforce in and around the popular tourist destinations of Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Park.

The Teton County branch of the Wyoming Department of Transportation announced early Saturday that the road at milepost 12.8 on Teton Pass had “catastrophically failed” and shared several images on social media that showed the extent of the damage. Officials said crews were trying to build a detour around the initial collapse when the landslide broke down further and effectively destroyed a whole section of the surrounding highway. No one was injured.

“We understand this highway is a lifeline for commuters, deliveries, medical care access and tourism, especially with limited alternatives and the summer season upon us,” said Darin Westby, the director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, in a statement after the collapse. “WYDOT engineers, surveyors and geologists mobilized quickly to try to maintain highway viability as long as possible, but catastrophic failure could not be avoided.”

Alternate routes send travelers on a long detour that takes roughly three times as long and covers some 85 miles. The road closure will also affect people who need to get to a hospital.

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