UW Students Develop Temporary Road for Drilling Sites

Laramie, WY – A temporary road developed by a group of students at the University of Wyoming is attracting attention from energy companies.

Senior civil engineering student Tyrel Hulet is one of about two dozen students in the group. He says they found that if a plant like sagebrush is bulldozed, it can take 20 years to grow back. But he says, with the temporary road, you just roll it down on top of the sagebrush. "If it's down for less than two years," he says, "you can pull it back up, and because the sagebrush root structure is still intact, within one or two growing seasons, it's already back to the way it was before the road was put down."

Hulet says they get the road material from a Torrington company, and it's made out of things like milk jugs and straw. The students' professor, Charles Dolan, says EnCana and Questar may conduct demonstrations of the road in the Jonah Field and the Pinedale Anticline this summer.