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Kane County seeking grants and other funding for roadway planning around Zion

According to the Kane County Commission, Kane County is adapting to trends and intentions out of the National Park Service’s management plans for Zion in a number of ways. In addition to the recent study and survey funded by a multi-county and local interest coalition - reported on in the previous commission meeting articles in the Southern Utah News - Kane County is also seeking grants and state support for a series of alternate roads equipped for busses and other oversized vehicles that could be limited from entering the park in the near future. As Zion is one of the primary visitation spots in the local area, most international tour itineraries will center around visiting it during peak seasons - as such, the loss of major buses being able to navigate it would result in a significant economic loss in the area.



The routes highlighted here in green are candidates for oversize vehicle navigation, and as such could benefit from grants and state aid to help mitigate a potential oversize vehicle ban through Zion. Photo courtesy of Kane County.


The ban on large vehicles is not in place yet, but with the idea pending among management of Zion National Park, the County is preparing for the financial impact of such vehicles no longer being allowed to enter the park directly. According to Kane County Commissioner Celeste Meyeres, “While oversize vehicles make up only a small percentage of traffic through the park … the majority of those sorts of vehicles do come in from Zion’s Kane County side. Large, international tour buses among other kinds of vehicles are major economic contributors to Kane County, and if they’re not allowed to pass along [State Route] 9, it could have a significant impact on local economies.”



The routes depicted here, particularly the road along and through the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, are roads for which Kane County could potentially find grant money and other state assistance in improving and maintaining in response to the actions taken by Zion’s management. The potential solution, according to Commissioner Meyeres, is for SR 9 to be able to accommodate bus dropoffs at locations like the eastern Zion entry complex, and for the other east-west corridors to allow the vehicle to circumnavigate the park to retrieve their passengers from the west side following the park visit.

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