Alan Neves, KSL-TV Chopper 5
UDOT workers and construction crews work on cleanup of U.S. 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon Thursday. The highway has been closed because of the mudslide, which pushed concrete barriers onto the road.

SPANISH FORK CANYON — Cleaning up a mudslide that has shut down U.S. 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon turned out to be a lengthy project, officials said.

The Utah Highway Patrol expected to reopen the road around 11 p.m. Thursday, but a UDOT spokesman said it could remain closed longer than that.

"It could be midnight. I don't know," said Adan Carillo, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation. "But ... it's more of a long-term closure, and they'll work until it's back open."

Heavy rain in the southeast part of the state pushed construction-area dirt and concrete barriers onto the road near mile marker 217 and the Scofield turnoff, shutting down both lanes and preventing travel to southeastern Utah.

Most of the mud and barriers were removed by early evening, but the heavy rain became the problem, Carillo said.

"It's still raining so bad," he said. "They're having some challenges in controlling all that water flow that's coming down."

He said crews were dealing with several different water problems within a 400-foot area and were trying to divert water into a pipe in one area, and they've brought in a pump to another area.

"(Now) it's just controlling the water flow, making sure they're getting the most of the moisture out of those areas so it (the hillside) doesn't come down again," Carillo said.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers, construction workers and UDOT's Incident Management Teams are all working with the construction equipment to get the road back open, Carillo said.

Southbound travelers are advised to take U.S. 89 through Manti Canyon and connect with state Route 31, or travel through Provo Canyon to Duchesne and then take U.S. 191. They also can head farther south and take I-70.

Carillo advised drivers to be extra cautious as they take the detours, due to the heavy rain.

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