SHERIDAN — Due to strong winds, poor visibility and a projected five to eight inches of snowfall and blizzard-like conditions in the forecast, the Wyoming Department of Transportation implemented its season closure of U.S. Highway 14A in the Bighorn Mountains at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

WYDOT seasonally closes the 22-mile stretch of scenic mountain road in the Bighorn Mountains of north-central Wyoming at the end of the fall hunting season.

According to WYDOT highway maintenance supervisor Dustin Hockett of Sheridan, heavy snows and relatively light traffic during the winter months makes snow removal of the mountain portion of the highway impractical.

“With the impending snowstorm coming this weekend, and high winds causing drifting near Observation Point, it has become impractical to maintain the roadway,” Hockett said.

WYDOT crews from both Lovell and Burgess Junction made one final sweep of the U.S.14A route to ensure all motorists are off the mountain and closed the gates for the season. Those seasonal road closure gates are located at Burgess Junction — just east of milepost 98.1 — and on the Lovell side of the mountain near milepost 76.04.

WYDOT closes U.S.14A seasonally as a safety precaution rather than as a reaction to storms. During this seasonal closure, motorists can use US 14 via Granite Pass and Greybull to travel to and from Sheridan or Lovell. Motorists are encouraged to check current road conditions for this route before departing by either calling 5-1-1, downloading the WYO511 app or visiting www.wyoroad.info.

WYDOT will open US 14A on or before Memorial Day weekend in May 2020.