The 22-mile stretch of US 14A through the Big Horn Mountains closed Wednesday, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation, a week earlier than its traditional winter closure on November 30th.
The section of highway west of Burgess Junction closes at the end of hunting season each year, but due to last weekend's snow storm WYDOT closed the area earlier this year.
According to a media release from WYDOT, District Engineer Larry Konetzki says that the section closes seasonally because safely maintaining the highway in the winter is “impractical”.
“The area Highway 14A passes through is known for producing huge drifts, and trying to keep it open is a losing battle,” Konetzki said in the release.
WYDOT closes the highway as a safety precaution instead of as a reaction to a storm, Konetzki added.
Motorists can use US 14 via Granite Pass and Greybull as an alternate route from Sheridan to Lovell during the seasonal closure.
The road will reopen in the spring, following a three-week task of snow removal.