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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Roadwork Will Affect Travel In Zion Park

The famous switchbacks on Hwy 9 below the mile-long tunnel in Zion Park will be renovated this year, and will cause some travel delays and temporary closures. Work could begin as early as May. People planning to drive through the park need to be aware of the work and plan extra time.

Below is a news release provided by the park:

Road Construction

Major roadwork will occur on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway in 2010.

Zion National Park is anticipating that major roadwork will occur on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway beginning as early as May of 2010. The roadwork will occur on a section of roadway known as The Switchbacks, from the junction of the Zion-Mt Carmel Highway and the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to the west portal of the Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel.

The Zion-Mt Carmel Highway was constructed in the late 1920’s and besides being surfaced with asphalt and having CCC era rock guardrails added, has not been improved since. Unstable soils, poor drainage and heavy use have deteriorated the roadway to the point that major renovations are needed to stabilize it.

The 2010 construction will affect travelers utilizing the Zion-Mt Carmel highway through Zion from Utah State Route 9 to U.S. Highway 89. People visiting Zion National Park via the park’s South Entrance who are camping, accessing the shuttle system, staying at the Zion Lodge or in the town of Springdale will not be affected.

Travelers going through Zion from the South Entrance to the East Entrance, or vice versa, should expect delays and temporary closures. Details are not yet available but we expect that most closures will occur in the evening hours. However, significant delays of up to an hour or more will occur throughout the day and the roadway will be one lane most of the time, even when work is not in progress.

Alternate routes of travel from Springdale to U.S Highway 89 are Utah State Route 59 from Hurricane, Utah to Arizona State Route 389 and Fredonia, Arizona or Utah State Route 14 from Cedar City, Utah to Long Valley Junction. Visitors may want to consider using one of these roads if traveling to Bryce Canyon or Grand Canyon National Parks from Zion.

More details regarding this road construction will be posted on this website when they are available.

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