Gazex installation

Wyoming Department of Transportation workers guide a new Gazex exploder tube into place as it is lowered by helicopter into Glory Bowl on Teton Pass in 2015. WYDOT feared the original avalanche-control blasters, installed in the early 1990s, would fail. The new ones in Glory Bowl and on Twin Slides could last for 50 years.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation starts work Wednesday to complete the overhaul of the Gazex avalanche mitigation infrastructure on the north side of Teton Pass.

The exploders, located on the south face of the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s Mount Glory, date to the 1990s and are being replaced with newer equipment. Two of the propane-fed exploders were replaced in 2015, and the remaining two are being swapped out this year. Work replacing the old infrastructure is slated to occur through Aug. 4, then pause before resuming in the period between Sept. 2 and Sept. 10.

Along the highway, WYDOT crews will stage on the uphill side of the currently snow-free Glory avalanche path. The area, near mile marker 10, will be closed during the project.

WYDOT will also fly a helicopter to transport materials on July 28, causing intermittent traffic delays.

Mount Glory’s Gazex avalanche control system has been in place for three decades and helps keep Highway 22 open throughout the winter. The large crook-necked pipes that are positioned at the upper end of the slide path detonate a mixture of propane and oxygen.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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