Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway reopens after closure due to falling rock

Composite image of the Zion Tunnel in Zion National Park with photo of rockslide overlay, Zion National Park, Utah, May 19, 2017 | Photo courtesy of John Marciano, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway that connects state Route 9 between Springdale and Mt. Carmel Junction is reopened to all traffic after being temporarily closed due to falling rock debris.

The roads were reopened after park officials and hazard geologists from the Utah Geological Survey assessed the sand fall area along Mt. Carmel Highway late yesterday afternoon and again this morning, Zion National Park spokesperson John Marciano said in statement released Saturday.

“Although sand and debris continue to fall there is little chance for it to reach the roadway,” Marciano said in Saturday’s statement.

As a precaution park road and maintenance crews installed jersey barriers to help keep any falling debris contained.

Eastbound queue lines for through traffic will begin further west of the tunnel to avoid traffic being stopped near the fall site.

“For your safety, stopping or standing is prohibited in the area,” according to a statement on the park’s Twitter feed.

The area was closed by park officials Friday after a continuous stream of heavy sand and rock debris fell near the west tunnel entrance along the highway.

Geologists from the Utah Geological Survey also helped evaluate the area.

Updates on road condition updates are available on the park website and social media outlets.

Visitors to the park should be extra cautious this time of year, Marciano said in an earlier interview, as saturation remains a concern and further slides are possible throughout the park.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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