Zion National Park to resurface red roads

Published: Monday, Sept. 9 2013 2:30 p.m. MDT

Beginning Monday, Zion National Park will be resurfacing its signature red roads.

Keith Johnson, Deseret News

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SPRINGDALE — Beginning Monday, Zion National Park will be resurfacing its signature red roads.

Work will start at the south entrance. The project will focus on the 1.4-mile section of the main park highway from the south entrance to the junction with the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, as well as the 6-mile Scenic Drive to the Temple of Sinawava.

The resurfacing is expected to take up to two weeks to complete and will be suspended over weekends. One-lane travel, with traffic control, will be maintained, and motorists may experience delays of 15 to 30 minutes. The Zion Canyon shuttle buses will continue to operate during the project.

Access to the Temple of Sinawava will be closed Wednesday, and park shuttles will go no farther than Big Bend that day. Later in the week, the Zion Human History Museum and parking lot will be closed, and park shuttle buses will bypass the museum for a day.

While the Human History Museum is closed, ranger talks scheduled at 11:25 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. will be at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Ranger-led shuttle tours will also be canceled while the Scenic Drive is being resurfaced.

The road resurfacing involves chip sealing, which is coating the road with a combination of oil and rock chips. Local red cinders are used to create Zion’s signature red roads.

The layer of chips must remain on the roads for two to three weeks before the remaining loose chips are swept and removed. During this time, motorists and bicyclists should be aware of the hazards of a layer of loose rock chips. Speed should be reduced to help prevent injuries or windshield damage from flying chips.

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