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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nighttime Road Closures End In Zion National Park

Road construction is winding down in Zion National Park. The park has announced that nighttime road closures are ending and traffic will return to normal seasonal flows.

Below is a news release issued by the park.

Superintendent Jock Whitworth is pleased to announce that on Friday, October 29, the nighttime Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway road closures that have been in place since June will come to an end. Bicycles, which have been prohibited for the construction, are now allowed to travel on the roadway. Restricted hours for large vehicles crossing the park through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel remain in place year-round.

Tunnel hours for large vehicles 7 feet 10 inches wide or wider and/or 11 feet 4 inches tall or taller are currently 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. every day, vehicles exceeding these dimensions cannot pass through Zion National Park on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and must use an alternate route.

There is less than ½ mile of paving on the 9 ½ mile long project left to complete. Rain last week kept the paving crew from finishing the last section near the west portal of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Due to continued rain and low temperatures this week, construction crews are waiting for a window of favorable conditions to finish this portion of the job.

Because of this, the final end date of October 28 for the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway Reconstruction Project has been postponed. Although there will not be night closures, residents and travelers should expect short traffic delays over the next few weeks as crews complete the finishing touches on roadway shoulders, clean up construction debris, and remove equipment. Weather permitting, the contractor expects all work to be completed by mid November.

Final sealing and striping of the new roadway will require one or two daytime closures as soon as possible after the last of the roadway has been paved. The exact dates and times of the closures will be announced when they are determined. Because of the unpredictable nature of the weather at this time of the year, the notice for these closures may be announced within a few days of them happening. The Park Service will provide as early notification as possible. Residents and travelers can call 435-772-3256 or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/zion for construction updates.

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