The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Friday, 08 March 2019 01:00

Rockslide closes a highway at Utah's National Park

Rockfall close a highway at Utah's National Park Rockfall close a highway at Utah's National Park.

A rockslide in Zion National Park, located in southwestern Utah near the city of Springdale, has caused severe issues.

In particular, Zion- Mount Carmel Highway has closed after the slide that was triggered by heavy rainfall on March 2, 2019.

The incident has also caused the closure of major roads in the park, including Keyhole, Canyon Overlook, Pine Creek, Spry, Clear Creek, Fat Man's Misery and Lodge Canyons, that were connected to the highway. According to an inspection performed the day after the failure, a retaining wall collapsed and the rock-mass slid leaving the highway hanging.

Until the issue is resolved, east and west driving passages are available via Highway 59 from Hurricane, Utah, to Fredonia, Arizona, and Highway 14 from Cedar City to Long Valley Junction and Highway 89. Those who travel from Interstate 15 can access the National Park by using State Route 9 through Springdale. Zion's East Entrance provides a route to the East Rim Trail which is under inspection by the park's personnel.

The facilities of the park in Zion Canyon have remained open and fully operational but people should expect some trail closures due to former ground failures. In particular, an active landslide has rendered the usage of Kayenta Trail and Upper Emerald Pools Trail impossible since July. Moreover, another landslide and a hanging rock have made access to the East Rim Trail, to Hidden Canyon and from the main canyon to the Observation Point, unattainable.

Those failures were mainly caused by severe downpours from which the region has suffered over the last winter. It is crucial to point out that Zion Canyon has received more than 25 cm of rainfall since the beginning of October while its average precipitation at the current time period is about 7 cm.


Read 214 times Last modified on Friday, 08 March 2019 16:32

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