Mother Nature delayed the opening of US 14A for a bit today, as crews with WYDOT had planned on opening the 22-mile stretch of scenic mountain road in the Big Horn Mountains at noon. Inclement weather pushed back that opening; however 14A is now open for the season.
Crews from Burgess Junction and Lovell work from opposite ends of the road each spring, using rotary plows to cut through a winter's accumulation of drifted snow. Because the road is positioned on a slide, it moves about 2 feet every year and requires considerable cleanup and repair each spring. Crews work each spring to patch and fill holes, clean up fallen rock, repair and replace guardrails and jersey barriers.
Heavy snows and the steep grade of the roadway make maintenance of the mountain portion of US 14A impractical during the winter months. As a safety precaution, WYDOT closes the road seasonally rather than as a reaction to a storm, according to WyDOT Region 4 Public Involvement Specialist Rhonda Holwell.