WYDOT streamlines, expands authorized travel program for winter season

The Wyoming Department of Transportation revamped its authorized travel program to offer more travel options during wintry conditions that will help improve traffic flow.

WYDOT recently launched the Wyoming Travel Authorization Program (W-TAP) that creates different types of travel authorizations that it can issue when travel is safe.

Under the new W-TAP, those with Wyoming driver licenses can apply to receive WYDOT Authorized Travel (WAT) authorizations, Rolling Closure Authorizations (RCA) or both if needed. Those without Wyoming driver licenses can apply to receive WAT authorizations only.

The program also offers a W-TAP Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, which is between an organization and WYDOT. The W-TAP MOU is intended for organizations and not individuals. It addresses travel needs not easily addressed through the automated WAT and RCA processes.

“Travel restrictions occur on the state’s roads in the winter due to conditions, crashes and other unforeseen events,” said Vince Garcia, ITS/GIS manager. “Our new program offers different authorizations based on what a traveler signs up for. As a reminder, participation in W-TAP does not grant blanket approval to travel on any closed road. WYDOT will continue to only allow travel on roads that are closed when it is safe to do so and under certain circumstances.”

The WAT application is open to all drivers but requires justification as to why a driver will need to travel on a closed road. Motorists are allowed to select seven segments of travel routes when applying for WAT.

Rolling Closure Authorizations (RCA) are primarily for those with Wyoming driver licenses. Motorists do not need to provide a travel justification as part of the application process but must agree to the terms of the program.

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“Rolling Closure Authorizations are intended to allow drivers with Wyoming driver licenses to travel during any rolling closure, even if they did not specifically request travel authorization for the affected route,” Garcia said.

RCAs and WATs will be put in place with every rolling closure, unless Wyoming Highway Patrol personnel are required but not available. WATs will be considered with every road closure.

Program participants will be notified by email when authorizations are in place. In addition,
they can access travel status via an automated phone system, their W-TAP account (https://w-tap.wyoroad.info/) and the Wyoming 511 mobile app.

With the move to the new W-TAP, WYDOT deleted all data from the previous program to ensure privacy.

“Even though some motorists may have participated under the previous WAT program, they will need to still reapply for W-TAP,” Garcia said.

For Wyoming drivers, the online application asks for a person’s name, date of birth and driver license number. That information is used to verify a person’s driver license and to retrieve address information, which is then verified with the United States Postal Service to ensure mail delivery. A person’s date of birth and driver license number will not be saved in the W-TAP database.

Wyoming residents who meet certain criteria will receive automatic approval. WYDOT officials review out-of-state applications before giving approval. Out-of-state applicants provide their name and address when applying.

Drivers who want to apply to the program can visit wyoroad.info and click on the W-TAP icon.

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