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Contact: Aly Baltrus
Springdale, UT- The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, which runs through Zion National Park, has reopened after being closed since Wednesday, August 10 due to a large rock fall prompted by an intense storm concentrating more than 2 inches of rainfall in a short period of time. The rock fall area has been cleared and all normal traffic flow through the park has resumed.
The rock fall occurred in the park around 6:00 p.m.on Wednesday, August 10. It was located below the tunnel, in between the Pine Creek Bridge and the Scenic Drive. The main rock fall consisted of a large boulder that fell upon the road, split, and blocked both lanes.
The area was assessed with the help of hazard geologists from the Utah Geological Survey on Thursday, August 11. They recommended letting the saturated soil dry out before attempting to remove the rock in order to lessen the chance of further rock falls. This morning, a contractor broke the boulder into smaller pieces using a hydraulic ram-hoe and removed the material. Zion National Park road crew then cut out the damaged asphalt section of the road and placed a temporary gravel patch on it. Once the roadway was deemed safe, it was reopened for traffic.
"We want to thank all the people who have been affected by the road closure for their patience as we worked to get the road reopened as soon as it was safe to do so", stated Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. "The safety of the visiting public and our staff is of the utmost importance to us."