More rock blasting to affect U.S. Highway 189 in Provo Canyon

Mar 28, 2023, 5:24 PM | Updated: 7:47 pm

OREN, Utah — The wet, cold weather that has continued into this spring has caused unusual problems for the Utah Department of Transportation.

Two weeks ago, large rocks, two to three feet in diameter, started tumbling from a cliff face onto U.S. 189.

UDOT shut the ramp from 800 North to U.S. 189 at the mouth of Provo Canyon on Tuesday and used explosives to bring down an unstable rock shelf.

More rock blasting to affect U.S. Highway 189 in Provo Canyon

At 1 p.m. UDOT detonated the charges after shutting down traffic in Provo Canyon.  The charges blasted an 80-foot section of rock shelf about five feet tall and 10 feet deep onto the dirt road. The rock and dirt weighed several tons.

“Some of this rock cliff gave way, creating a shelf that was hanging over the road,” Geoff Dupaix, region communications manager for UDOT said. 

The idea was to bring that rock shelf straight down onto the road where it would be cleared away.

“So that we can bring down that rock and work towards getting this ramp open by the end of the week,” Dupaix said. 

The shale on the rock face has been crumbly before. But the exceptional amount of moisture this winter intensified the freeze-and-thaw cycle that breaks up the rock. 

“It has eroded away and into the fissures and cracks and expanded those cracks,” Dupaix said. “It’s a sizable amount of rock that we need to bring down in order to make this road safe for motorists.”

After they blasted that rock shelf, they originally thought they would do another blast Tuesday.  Instead, UDOT spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the rock and getting ready to do another blast Wednesday.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

FILE - This Jan. 22, 2018, file photo, shows Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth home which is oper...

Brianna Chavez

Utahn recounts how attempted arson at the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr. was prevented

Several bystanders, including two from Utah, were able to prevent a 26-year-old woman from burning down the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr. Thursday evening. The incident has since sparked national attention.

3 hours ago

Matt Cavanaugh ran the Salt Lake City Marathon in freezing weather on April 22. This was his fourth...

Kaigan Mears Bigler

12 marathons, 1 year, 1 kidney: A Park City man’s race to raise awareness

Even with only one kidney, 44-year-old Park City resident Matt Cavanaugh will be running his 12th marathon of the year on Sunday, completing his goal of completing 12 marathons, each in under three hours, in 2023.

4 hours ago

The family of a young girl who fell from a bedroom window said they want other people to install ex...

Shelby Lofton

Family of 8-year-old girl seriously injured after second-story window fall shares safety warning

The family of a young girl who fell from a bedroom window said they want other people to install extra protection locks on their windows.

8 hours ago

FILE — The Kane County Sheriff's Office took four people into custody Friday following a traffic...

Mark Jones

Four individuals arrested in fentanyl bust in Kanab

The Kane County Sheriff's Office took four people into custody Friday following a traffic stop that resulted in the discovery of several package of fentanyl pills.

8 hours ago

A house fire in Box Elder County Friday left a family displaced. (Tremonton Fire Department)...

Mark Jones

Family displaced following house fire in Box Elder County

The Tremonton Fire Department says a house fire Friday in Thatcher has left a family displaced.

9 hours ago

(Andrew Adams/KSL TV)...

Andrew Adams

Sandy mailman has holiday side hustle as Santa’s helper

He has worked as a mailman for nearly four decades and knows his route on the Sandy bench by heart. For the past 20 years, however, Ray Berrett has had a side hustle -- for Santa Claus.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

More rock blasting to affect U.S. Highway 189 in Provo Canyon