Resurfacing Distinctive Red Road, Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway

zion national park
Undated photo of the sign at the east entrance of Zion National Park, Utah | File photo, St. George News

ZION NATIONAL PARK – On August 22, the National Park Service began resurfacing a portion of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway in Zion National Park.

Work will occur on the 9.5-mile section of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway that extends from the junction with the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to the East Entrance of the park. The resurfacing project is expected to take up to two weeks to complete, weather dependent.

Travel will be reduced to a single lane of traffic in some areas and motorists may experience delays of up to 15 to 30 minutes. People visiting Zion Canyon from the South Entrance of the park who are camping, accessing the shuttle system, or staying at the Zion Lodge or in the town of Springdale will not be in the construction zone. Visitors traveling through Zion National Park from the South Entrance to the East Entrance, or vice versa, should expect delays. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive will not be affected by this project.

In 2010, large sections of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway were rebuilt and repaved with black asphalt. This portion of road will be chip sealed, which involves covering the road surface with a combination of oil and red volcanic cinders. The cinders used during the chip sealing process give the roads within the park their distinctive red color. The layer of cinders must remain on the road for two to three weeks before any excess material can be cleared.

During this time, motorists and bicyclists should be aware of the hazards associated with a layer of loose rock chips on the road. Speeds should be reduced to help prevent injuries and vehicle damage resulting from flying debris. Resurfacing the road will extend the life of the pavement and improve vehicle traction.

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