Teton Pass will close to eastbound trailer traffic a month early this year, a Wyoming Department of Transportation press release said.
The early closure comes as the Teton Pass vehicle arrestor has been out of commission since an accident Sept. 10, when it failed to stop a pickup carrying a trailer of logs. That accident is still under investigation.
On Sept. 30, with the arrestor closed, an apparently overweight potato truck plowed into WYDOT’s sand shed.
Usually, the pass closes to trailer traffic Nov. 15. This year, the closure will go into effect Oct. 15, lasting through April 1.
“We wanted to give the public time to get the information and make whatever arrangements they may need to,” WYDOT spokesperson Stephanie Harsha said. For instance, some people may need to haul trailers or RVs across the pass for storage.
Westbound trailers will be allowed to travel the pass, barring weather closures, until the typical Nov. 15 date.
“Our concerns lie mostly with the eastbound traffic on the east side of the pass, given the steep grade, topography and accident history,” WYDOT District Engineer Keith Compton said in a statement.
Wyoming Highway Patrol will strictly enforce the trailer restriction as well as weight restrictions, the release said.
A runaway-truck ramp a mile up from the vehicle arrestor remains open for use.
Violators of the closure are subject to fines.