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Kane County receives $5.4 million from federal appropriations for Coral Pink/Zion road project

While transportation to and around Zion National Park was one motivating factor for state and federal level interest in the road through the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, local leadership in Kane County say that reason was one of many to seek financial means to improve the road. Kane County’s road budget has proven slim in the past, with leadership stretched thin to maintain the hundreds of miles of road within Kane County, and according to Kane County Commissioner Wade Heaton, “it would cost more to maintain [the Sand Dunes road] than all of the other roads combined.”



Left to right, photos courtesy of Celeste Meyeres:

  • The Sand Dunes road has a history of being a rough drive.

  • Blacktop roads like this one can be costly and difficult to maintain.


As such, the County sought additional funding, and this week the office of House Representative Celeste Maloy confirmed they secured $5,423,000 for fiscal year 2024 to aid the road reconstruction and improvement. Per Kane County Commissioner Celeste Meyeres, the county is coordinating with the Utah Department of Transportation, Washington county, and northern Arizona’s Mohave county, as the length of the road stretches through their respective jurisdictions. “We should start with coordination once we hear from the federal agencies in the next month or so,” says Meyeres.


According to the Kane County Commission, the federal appropriations funding is only part of the sought-after total, as the commission continues to pursue funding through state and national park means.



The Sand Dunes road has a history of rough travel conditions, and sources familiar with travel in Kane County say the condition of the road contributes to longer travel times and inconvenient passage to the Sand Dunes Park. Commissioner Wade Heaton cites this as the primary reason this was a local, Kane County issue. Says Heaton, “The legislature needed a ‘why,’ as in, ‘why should we help with this project,’ and the Zion study was that ‘why’ on the federal level. Yes, the road will help with Zion traffic, but our real priority was making sure that continues to be a reasonable, usable public access for the people in Kane and the surrounding counties.”


Coordination with federal appropriations offices will take some time as the fiscal year legislation wraps up, and as mentioned above, the Commission expects the first talks on the project in earnest to begin within a month.

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