Repairs beginning soon to restore major Zion National Park road damaged by landslides
Sep 20, 2023, 8:27 AM | Updated: 8:28 am
(Brett Loitz, National Park Service)
SPRINGDALE, Washington County — Work to repair a major Zion National Park road that has remained partially closed for several months is set to begin as early as next week, park officials say.
Crews are set to repair Kolob Canyons Road, which was damaged by rockfalls and landslides amid a barrage of wintry storms in March. Parts of the road past the South Fork Picnic Area, including the La Verkin Creek and Timber Creek Overlook trailheads, were closed all summer.
Park officials said a construction team will work to excavate “unstable materials” and reinforce the road’s base where landslides occurred. The team will also repave about 6,000 square feet of roadway and install new ditches, gutters and curbs to improve the road’s drainage as a part of the reconstruction project.
The road, as well as all the trailheads next to it, will be closed off throughout the duration of the project, park officials added. That means drivers, bicyclists, hikers and horse riders will not be able to access the area once construction begins.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year or in early 2024, which is when the road will reopen again.
Bry Carter, chief of facilities management for the park, said engineers and park maintenance staff crafted the plan in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration.
“Just like all construction in the park, we are going to ensure this work complements the natural landscape and improves visitors’ experiences,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
The March storms also led to temporary closures at Zion Canyon Scenic Drive because of rockfalls in the area, as Utah collected its largest snowpack on record during this year’s winter and spring months.
Meanwhile, a project to repair a trail bridge at Zion Lodge remains the only other long-standing closure in place at the park right now.