UPDATE: US 6 now open with temporary gravel road for Labor Day traffic, UDOT says

Sep 4, 2023, 10:12 AM | Updated: 3:38 pm

UPDATE: The temporary road is now open, though the drop in speed limit to cross the new road will still cause expected delays.

CARBON COUNTY, Utah — As Labor Day weekend comes to an end, the Utah Department of Transportation is working to reopen U.S. Highway 6 following a major mudslide.

The slide forced crews to close U.S. 6 on the Utah County side at the U.S. 89 junction near Thistle in Spanish Fork Canyon and on the Carbon County side at milepost 230, just north of Helper at the U.S. 191 junction.

U.S. 191 was closed Sunday night due to additional mudslides, but it reopened before 11 p.m. Eastbound U.S. 6 drivers were being detoured to U.S. 89 while westbound drivers were being sent into Duchesne County via U.S. 191. Drivers can also use Interstate 15 to I-70 as an alternate route.

Once U.S. 6 reopens with the temporary gravel patch, drivers will be limited to 25 mph in the area. Crews hope to have U.S. 6 open by Monday afternoon — faster than initially anticipated.

Mudslide closes US 6

A major mudslide completely washed out U.S. 6 at milepost 228 Sunday afternoon.

“I could hear big huge rocks tumbling in the bottom of the flowing water, it sounded like thunder but from the ground,” said driver Nathan Strain, who got caught in the backup caused by the flooding. “It was tons of water flowing over that road. “By the time I got there, it had gauged out the road pretty deep, so it was flowing kind of at road level.

A drone view of the damages caused by a mudslide on U.S. 6 in Price Canyon. (Utah Highway Patrol)

Crews are continuing work to repair the road and finish construction on a culvert that was being built to help avoid future slides. The area has dealt with flash flooding following the 2021 Bear Fire, which burned over 5,000 acres in the area.

“Over the last few weeks and months, they’ve been installing a big culvert into the road, and they’ve been shifting lanes and moving stuff and digging,” Strain said. “They were doing work to prevent this sort of thing in the future — kind of an irony there.”

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UPDATE: US 6 now open with temporary gravel road for Labor Day traffic, UDOT says