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Contact: Erik DeGroat, 435-772-0180
Superintendent Jock Whitworth has announced that he will temporarily waive the special use fee for oversize vehicles to travel through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. This will start Tuesday, August 17 and last for 3-5 weeks. The decision to waive the tunnel fee is due to work on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway Reconstruction Project that will require constant one way traffic through the tunnel for all vehicles.
Normally, the park charges a $15 fee to vehicles 7 feet 10 inches wide or wider and/or 11 feet 4 inches tall or taller for park rangers to ensure safe one way travel through the narrow 1 mile long tunnel. Because all traffic will be one way for this portion of the road project, there is no special service being provided and a charge is not justified.
The work will start near the west portal of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel and will consist of reconstructing two historic rock retaining walls. Due to space constraints in the affected area, all vehicle traffic through the tunnel will need to alternate one way with a pilot car to safely transit the work zone. The Canyon Overlook parking lot will be closed for use by the pilot car, but the Canyon Overlook trail will remain open. Additional parking for the trail is located 100 yards east of the closed lot.
The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway is closed to all vehicles 8pm to 8am Sunday through Thursday nights. The road is open 8am to 8pm Monday through Thursday and at all times for passenger cars from Friday at 8am to Sunday at 8pm. Tunnel hours for large vehicles are 8am to 8pm every day. Prohibitions on semi trucks, combination vehicles over 50 feet long and any vehicle over 13 feet 1 inch tall remain in effect.
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 information, Call 435-772-3256 (press 1, then 4) or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/zion.