The Utah Department of Transportation is preparing to receive bids from general contractors on a U.S. 89 road project from Kanab to Kanab Creek aimed at alleviating the threat of potential catastrophic closure from ongoing erosion by the adjacent creek.

In order to maintain the safety of workers and travelers, and to reduce the potential of impacting the area’s tourism season, UDOT will close the road to traffic for three hours each weekday morning between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. beginning as early as January 6, 2014, as workers blast into steep rock walls and move tons of material.

UDOT Project Manager Nancy Jerome says, “There is no easy way around this one.  After reviewing public comments, considering safety, geometry, environment, available funds, traffic data and regional economics, the consensus from working with community leaders, emergency services and distribution networks, leans toward a consistent daily closure time that offers the best opportunity to shorten the overall project construction length.”

The full closures are anticipated to remain in place up to April 11, 2014.  After that date a heavy disincentive would require the contractor to rent lanes for any additional full closures. Typical road construction with single lane closures may continue into July. Various message boards and traveler information methods will be incorporated.

The U.S. 89 Kanab to Kanab Creek project includes shifting the road alignment away from Kanab Creek, providing additional slope protection, widening the shoulders and constructing an acceleration lane at the port of-entry. Through working with the Kane County Water Conservancy District, mitigation efforts will also provide a new pipeline to preserve the adjacent historic irrigation tunnel and maintain critical water conveyance.

Questions regarding the project prior to construction may be e-mailed to us89@utah.gov