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Deal Reached For State To Plow Roads In Utah’s National Parks

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – State plows have been clearing roads at Utah’s national parks.

The Utah Department of Transportation announced Thursday that they would clear snow-covered roads while the federal government was shut down.

“It was an issue that we saw and we worked with the Governor’s Office and the Office of Tourism to make this happen,” said UDOT spokesperson John Gleason. “It was really a group of people that saw the problem and wanted to make sure that we were able to address it.”

Plows cleared roads at Arches National Park and the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park Thursday afternoon.

Gleason said plows will clear roads in Capitol Reef National Park the next time it snows. He said Bryce Canyon National Park still has money available for plowing on their own and that the roads in Zion National Park were clear.

“These national parks are part of our state’s identity, and it’s important that the roads are clear – that they’re safe for people to travel on,” Gleason said.

Gleason said it would cost the state between $15,000 and $25,000 per storm to clear the roads. He said UDOT would request reimbursement from the federal government after the shutdown ends.

Both Arches and Canyonlands announced Thursday that their visitor centers would be open starting January 11 after the Canyonlands Natural History Association made a donation.

They said rangers would be at the visitor centers to answer questions, though they may not offer all the regular services.

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