Zion-Mount Carmel Highway reopens; some restrictions still in place and delays expected

A rockfall in Zion National Park results in an undercut portion of road on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, Utah, March 3, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

SPRINGDALE — The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, the state Route 9 connector road through Zion National Park, was closed the evening of March 2 after heavy rains undercut the road. One lane of the road has temporarily reopened; however, due to safety concerns, buses and RVs are still prohibited.

Read more: UPDATED: Active rockslide closes Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway

The road will be a single lane around the damaged area and will be managed by a traffic signal. Visitors should obey traffic signals and expect delays. Vehicles more than 7 feet-10 inches wide or 11 feet-4 inches tall will not be allowed on the road between Canyon Junction and the park’s east entrance. As road repairs progress, the entire road may close periodically.

For oversized vehicles (buses and RV’s), alternate east and west driving routes are available via Highway 59 from Hurricane to Fredonia, Arizona, and state Route 14 from Cedar City to Long Valley Junction and Highway 89. People coming from Interstate 15 to Zion National Park may access the park as usual by traveling east on SR-9 through Springdale.

All canyoneering routes on the east side will remain accessible for permitted activities. However, permits will not be issued when road closures are required.

“Visitors need to reduce their speed throughout the switchbacks, drive with care, and be alert for falling rocks,” Zion spokeswoman Aly Baltrus said in a press release. “We are going to try to keep the road open as much as we can, but it is a tight space and we will need to get construction vehicles and materials in and out too.”

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