WYDOT closes more alpine passes for the winter

November 29, 2016

The Wyoming Department of Transportation closed three mountain passes in the state because of snowy weather conditions.

WYDOT closed US 14A, which is between Burgess Junction and Lovell, on Tuesday, Nov. 29 because of blowing and drifting snow, which caused poor visibility.

On Monday, Nov. 28, WYDOT officials closed Battle Pass (WYO 70) and Snowy Range (WYO 130) because of snowy conditions.

“It’s winter on the Bighorn Mountains,” said Jason Fleming, Wyoming Department of Transportation maintenance foreman in Lovell about US 14A. “Winter weather and slick roads present safety concerns for snowplow drivers and travelers on this high-mountain highway.”

Larry Konetzki, district maintenance engineer in Sheridan, said the closures are for the safety of the traveling public.

“The area Highway 14A passes through is known for producing huge drifts, and trying to keep it open is a losing battle,” he said.

WYDOT closed Battle Pass (WYO 70) and Snowy Range (WYO 130) after storms hit the area over the weekend.

“We got about 2 ½ feet to 3 feet of snow on both passes,” said Tim McGary, district maintenance engineer in Laramie. “Those passes will now be closed until the spring.”

Battle Pass is between Baggs and Encampment, while the Snowy Range is between Centennial and Saratoga.

WYDOT works to keep the passes open as long as it can, but then closes them in the winter when snowfall amounts become too much and snowplows can’t get through the snow.

The passes will reopen in the spring after crews bring snowplows, dozers and other heavy equipment to remove the snow.