Trailer ban on pass comes early with arrester still out

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – With nearly nowhere left to crash on Teton Pass, state officials are enacting the usual seasonal trailer ban one month earlier this year.

An extended closure of the vehicle arrestor system on WYO 22 (Teton Pass) is forcing the hand of Wyoming Department of Transportation. Recent incidents on Teton Pass highlight the danger of having less options for out of control eastbound vehicles plummeting toward Wilson.

With the vehicle arrestor system still out of commission, WYDOT announced today it will enforce an earlier seasonal trailer traffic closure one month early this year. The early closure will affect only eastbound traffic on Teton Pass. Westbound traffic will be allowed to travel the pass, barring any weather-related closures.

“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.

The closure of the arrestor, in combination with winter storms already moving into the Teton Valley, has prompted WYDOT to institute an early ban on eastbound trailer traffic over the pass beginning on Oct. 15. The annual full closure for both directions will begin on November 15 and will continue through the season until April 1. Occasionally, adverse winter conditions have forced earlier closures.

The early closure is in response to the recent closure of the vehicle arrestor system, recent brake-related crashes, and a lack of compliance to posted signs. Wyoming Highway Patrol will be strictly enforcing the current trailer and weight restrictions, and will continue to make Teton Pass a priority for routine patrols.

A runaway truck ramp approximately one mile up from the current vehicle arrestor location remains open for use.

Any vehicles with a hitched trailer illegally accessing Teton Pass will be found in violation of running a road closure and subject to fines. WYDOT will also be installing a mobile variable message board with the closure messaging for added awareness.

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