CEDAR CITY – A hazard tree mitigation project is scheduled to begin Monday on the Cedar City Ranger District of the Dixie National Forest due to the extensive number of trees killed by bark beetles and wind-throw along the forest’s major transportation corridors.
The project is being formed as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of encountering dead trees across the highway, according to a press release issued by the forest’s Public Affairs Officer Joe Harris, Friday.
“Public safety is my No. 1 concern,” District Ranger Veronica Magnuson said, “and I am very proud of the partnership between UDOT and the Dixie National Forest to resolve this hazardous situation.”
Standing dead trees or bug-kill such as those that perished due to the bark beetle infestation also fuel wildland fires, although fires also cleanse the forest Fire Information Officer Mark Wilkening told St. George News during the Shingle Fire of July 2012 in the region.
The project area begins at the Dixie National Forest boundary near Cedar Canyon Campground on state Route 14 and stretches for approximately 12.5 miles and may cause delays of up to 30 minutes as Utah Department of Transportation crews work to cut down dead trees that pose a risk of falling into the road.
Hazard tree mitigation activity is also planned for the section of state Route 148 that runs from the SR-14 junction almost to the Cedar Breaks National Monument boundary.
“Safety of the traveling public and aesthetics of the highway corridor is of prime importance” said Jim McConnell UDOT West District Engineer of Region 4.
Motorists are asked to give consideration to the possibility of experiencing delays when planning to travel this route during the week of May 12.
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