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Zion-Mount Carmel Highway opens; no over-sized vehicles

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State Route 9, also known as Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, is now open after being damaged from heavy rains that undercut the road.{ } (Photo: KUTV)

State Route 9, also known as Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, is now open after being damaged from heavy rains that undercut the road.

The connector road through Zion National Park, which was restricted to one lane temporarily on Tuesday, reopened but because of safety concerns is prohibiting buses and RVs from using the road.

The National Park Service stated in a media advisory that the road is limited to a single lane around the damaged area that will also be managed by a traffic signal.

Visitors should obey traffic signals and expect delays, the advisory stated.

Park Spokesperson Aly Baltrus said in a prepared statement:

Visitors need to reduce their speed throughout the switchbacks, drive with care, and be alert for falling rocks. We are going to try to keep the road open as much as we can, but it is a tight space and we will need to get construction vehicles and materials in and out too. There is also additional precipitation in the forecast.

Vehicles sized 7’10’’ in width or 11’4’’ in height, or larger, will not be allowed on the road between Canyon Junction and the park’s east entrance. As road repairs progress, the entire road may close periodically, NPS said.

Buses and RVs are required to use an alternate east and west driving routes available via Highway 59 from Hurricane to Fredonia, Arizona and Highway 14 from Cedar City to Long Valley Junction and Highway 89.

People coming from Interstate 15 to the park may access the park as usual by traveling east on SR-9 through Springdale.

The press release said that all canyoneering routes on the east side remain accessible for permitted activities.

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