SHERIDAN — Maintenance crews from the Wyoming Department of Transportation will open U.S. Highway 14A west of Burgess Junction for the summer at noon Monday.
“We’ve got a few rocks to remove from the roadway, a guardrail to fix and equipment to move,“ said Rich Hall, WYDOT crew supervisor for the Sheridan area.
According to Hall, WYDOT crews encountered snow depths of 2 to 4 feet, with drifts up to 8 feet, during annual spring plowing efforts.
WYDOT opens the scenic 22-mile stretch of road in the Bighorn Mountains in mid- to late-May each spring and closes it at the end of the hunting season each fall.
The annual winter closure of Highway 14A occurs between milepost 76.04 on the Lovell side of the mountains and Burgess Junction near milepost 98.1 on the eastern side.
According to District 4 Maintenance Engineer Larry Konetzki, keeping the road open year-round is impractical.
“We close the road seasonally as a safety precaution. We’d rather not risk someone’s life to a storm, including the lives of our plow drivers,” Konetzki said.