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Contact: Erik DeGroat, 435-772-1080
Superintendent Jock Whitworth has announced that the section of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway within Zion National Park will close at 4 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6, 2010. The earlier closure is necessary to allow road painting during daylight hours.
The painting is installing a center line on the newly paved roadway on the east side of Zion National Park. For an accurate line to be painted, adequate daytime light is necessary. Additionally, temperatures of over 50 degrees and time for the paint to dry without traffic are required. The temperatures at night and in the morning hours are too cold at the 5100-5700 foot elevation for the paint to be applied. These factors, along with lighter traffic flow than in the middle of the day, made the evening a logical choice for the closure time to complete this important work for traveler safety. If there is rain that day, the early closure will be rescheduled for another date. The west side of the project and final sealing of the road will require additional closures later in October. The dates for those closures will be announced when they are determined.
The road will close at the park’s East Entrance and at the junction of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive at 4:00 p.m. on October 6. All vehicles must be past these closure points and moving out of the construction area at that time. Any unattended vehicle left parked in the construction zone will not be allowed to drive on the road until the paint has cured.
The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway is closed to all vehicles 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., Sunday through Thursday nights. The road is open to passenger cars 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all times from Friday at 8 a.m. to Sunday at 8 p.m. Hours for large vehicles 7 feet 10 inches wide or wider and/or 11 feet 4 inches tall or taller are currently 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
Alternate routes for travelers between US Highway 89 and Zion Canyon are Utah SR 59 from Hurricane to Arizona SR 389(1.5 hours—good for large vehicles); Utah SR 14 from Cedar City to Long Valley Junction (2 hours—steep grades/curves); or from I-15 to Utah SR 20 (2 hours—good for large vehicles).
For updated Zion-Mt Carmel Highway construction information, call 435-772-3256 (press 1, then 4) or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/zion.