(Sheridan, Wyo.) — Crews from the Wyoming Department of Transportation are preparing to close US 14A west of Burgess Junction for the winter at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 1. WYDOT seasonally closes this 22-mile stretch of scenic mountain road in the Big Horn Mountains of north-central Wyoming at the end of the fall hunting season. According to WYDOT District Maintenance Engineer Larry Konetzki, heavy snows and relatively light traffic during the winter months make maintenance of the mountain portion of US 14A 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. Konetzki added "that, as a safety precaution, WYDOT closes the road seasonally rather than as a reaction to a storm." This decision ties in with our mission of providing a safe, high quality, and efficient transportation system for the citizens of Wyoming. 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. During the time the road is closed, motorists can use US 14 via Granite Pass and Greybull as an alternative route from Sheridan to Lovell. WYDOT will open US 14A next spring after crews spend a projected three weeks to remove the winter snowpack on the road. *Feature photo Burgess Junction near the 14/14A interchange in the summer.