Resurfacing of Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway begins Monday

Published: Saturday, Aug. 20 2011 7:08 p.m. MDT

ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah — Resurfacing of the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway in Zion National Park will begin Monday on the 9.5-mile section from the Zion Canyon junction to the east entrance of the park.

The project is expected to take up to two weeks, depending on weather conditions.

Travel will be reduced to a single lane of traffic in some areas, and motorists may experience delays of up to 30 minutes. People visiting Zion Canyon from the south entrance of the park, who are camping, accessing the shuttle system, or staying at the Zion Lodge or in the town of Springdale will not be in the construction zone.

In 2010, large sections of the highway were rebuilt and repaved with black asphalt. This portion of road will be chip-sealed, which involves covering the road surface with a combination of oil and red volcanic cinders. The cinders used during the chip sealing process give the roads within the park their distinctive red color. The layer of cinders must remain on the road for two to three weeks before any excess material can be cleared. During this time, motorists and bicyclists should be aware of the hazards associated with a layer of loose rock chips on the road. Speeds should be reduced to help prevent injuries and vehicle damage resulting from flying debris. Resurfacing the road will extend the life of the pavement and improve vehicle traction.

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