Scenic Drive Repair Project to Begin at Capitol Reef National Park
Long-needed repairs to Capitol Reef National Park’s eight mile Scenic Drive are scheduled to begin in February. The project will repair the entire length of the paved portion of the Scenic Drive, from the Visitor Center, past the Fruita Campground and on to the entrance to Capitol Gorge. The project includes the removal of the existing road surface, repair of the sub-surface roadbed, stabilization of historic retaining walls, reconstruction of concrete wash crossings, and a complete road resurfacing. The contract for this project, funded by the Federal Highways Administration, was awarded to Geary Construction from Coalville, Utah, with many local subcontractors participating.
Visitors can expect some delays of up to 30 minutes during construction on the Scenic Drive between February and July, 2011, when the project is scheduled for completion. Visitors will continue to be able to access popular destinations such as the picnic area, historic Gifford House, historic orchards, and the Fruita Campground during the whole construction period.
Only one section of the Scenic Drive, the last six and a half mile portion beyond the campground to the end of the road at Capitol Gorge will be closed to through traffic. The closure will begin about March 7 for three weeks while the contractors construct new concrete wash crossings and allow the concrete to cure, preventing damage by vehicle traffic. Another expected closure of this portion of road will take place during a four day period in July when the final chip seal road surface is applied. No other closures are planned, but weather or other unexpected delays may lead to changes.
For updates concerning this project and any road delays or closures, you may visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/care or contact the park at 435-425-3791.
Did You Know?
Metal bars supporting telephone lines were installed in Capitol Gorge in 1911 providing telephone service to the ranching community east of Capitol Reef National Park. State Highway 24 was an unpaved road through Capitol Gorge until 1962, when it was re-routed along the Fremont River and paved.