Editors: Photographs were taken by Lovell Maintenance Foreman Jim Thomas on May 14. Please credit WYDOT.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
US 14A opens for summer at noon, Wednesday, May 20
Maintenance crews from the Wyoming Department of Transportation will open US 14A west of Burgess Junction for the summer at noon Wednesday, May 20.
"Barring another spring snowstorm, it will remain open," said Lovell Maintenance Foreman Jim Thomas. "Please drive carefully. It's barely spring up there."
Last year, the highway opened for the summer on May 23.
WYDOT seasonally opens this 22-mile stretch of scenic mountain road in the Big Horn Mountains of north-central Wyoming in mid- to late-May. It usually closes every fall at the end of the fall hunting season.
Lovell Maintenance Foreman Jim Thomas said Tuesday that WYDOT crews encountered more snow than normal this spring as they worked to clear US 14A. “We ran into drifts on our side of the mountain of up to 12 to 15 feet deep near Sheep Mountain Road. On the Burgess side, we worked with our rotary blower to help clear 17-foot drifts,” he said. “The road is clear right now, and we’ve been working to widen it by removing snow in a few localized locations.”
Annual maintenance highway patching activities are being handled by the Lovell and Burgess Junction maintenance crews.
“We’ve also replaced 11 signs on US 14A this spring,” Thomas said. “They were damaged by high winds and extreme winter conditions over the past eight months.”
“Drivers will encounter a lot of snow this year and the remnants of a tough winter,” said Thomas.
According to District 5 Maintenance Engineer Ron Huff, 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,” Huff said.
MEDIA: For questions about this news release, contact Cody Beers, WYDOT District 5 public involvement specialist, at 856-1341.