Work accelerates on Utah highway closed by landslide

CEDAR CITY, Utah — A scenic state highway in southern Utah closed by a landslide in October is scheduled to reopen to the public with limited access June 1 and full access by July 4, state transportation officials said.

Crews have worked in recent weeks to remove dirt, rock and debris from state Route 14, about eight miles east of Cedar City, The Spectrum of St. George reported.

Some 1.5 million cubic yards of material slid down a ravine Oct. 8, destroying nearly a quarter mile of the highway.

The highway is used by residents and tourists to get to grazing land for cattle and Bryce Canyon National Park. The road is used mostly by residents, but it is also used by truckers and tourists because it’s the most direct route from Cedar City to U.S. 89, which leads to the national park.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Kitchen said crews have been removing about 7,200 cubic yards of debris per day since March 15. A significant increase in workers and machinery today should increase that amount to 15,000 to 20,000 cubic yards per day, he said.

“Things are really starting to move quickly,” Sam Grimshaw, field engineer for UDOT, told The Spectrum.

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