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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thunderstorms Wash Out SR 35 and Hells Backbone Road

State Road 35 is closed in eastern Utah because heavy rain has washed out a culvert, leaving a gaping hole. Crews estimate it will take about two weeks to make repairs.

The washout occurred last night. Two vehicles driving the highway during the rainstorm were not able to see the hole and crashed into it. A 15-year-old girl in one of the vehicles was killed upon impact. Her father, driving the vehicle, suffered significant injuries.

This news article describes the event.

SR 35 is know as the Wolf Creek Pass road. After crossing the pass, it drop east to Tabiona and then continues on to intersect with State Road 87 near Duchesne.

Utah's Department of Transportation issued this alert:

SR 35 is closed from SR 87 to SR 208 due to extensive road damage. It is anticipated the road will remain closed for two weeks. Motorists are advised to use US Highway 40 as an alternate route.

In southern Utah, heavy rain have also damaged forest roads near Panguitch and Escalante. A portion of the Hells Backbone Road has been wash out. The Deseret News has this article, providing these details:

(Terry Delay, Escalante district ranger,) said many roads and trails have been washed out and damaged. Areas on the east side of the forest near Panguitch and Escalante have been the hardest hit. Specifically, a culvert at Sand Creek on the Hell’s Backbone Road washed out. The road is closed and crews are working hard to get it open by the end of next week.

Visitors to the area are urged to call or stop by the Powell Ranger District in Panguitch at 435-676-9300 or the Escalante Ranger District at 435-826-5400 to get up-to-date road and trail information. Officials are also warning visitors to stay on main roads and not travel to unfamiliar areas without first checking on conditions.

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