News Media Overhypes Teton Pass Collapse

Most of us gasped a little when we saw those images of the Teton Pass Road collapse.

All that earth just came out from under and took the road with it in a matter of moments.

As usual, news reporting around this incident hypes the severity of the situation.

YES, this is the most used and shortest route from Idaho into Jackson, Wyoming.

YES, it's causing a lot of delays in the midst of tourist season.

NO! Jackson, Wyoming and the Teton tourist industry are in no danger of losing money.

Saying that everything will be just fine does not make good headlines and reporters need to drive traffic to websites.

Reporters need to manufacture a crisis.

There are several alternate routes into Jackson. Tourists will make it in just fine.

News headlines scream that the road collapse is "catastrophic for Jackson workers."

They actually use the word "CATASTROPHIC!"

But it's only an inconvenience.

Many workers live on the western side of the mountains because they can't afford to live in Jackson. So the city of Jackson is considering relaxing some housing rules so they don't have to dive two hours each way to get to work and back.

According to WYDOT, they will have a temporary road open in a few weeks. This will not take all summer.

As far as why the road collapsed, it's because it was built through a mountain pass.

Mountains like the Tetons are young, constantly evolving, reshaping, and even crumbling over time.

It's all part of the geological process.

Back in early June of 2023, a big chunk of one of the Teton's peaks fell off. Landslides and rockslides are common.

This is known whenever a road is constructed through a mountain pass.

That's why WYDOT works the area seven days a week, looking for issues.

So there will be some delays for folks trying to get to and from Jackson from Idaho.

But they will get there.

The road will be fixed.

Life will return to what we knew before.

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Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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