SPRINGDALE, UT – Zion National Park’s Scenic Drive at the Lodge has been closed since late Friday January 13th due to a large rock slide. Over the holiday weekend, the Incident Command Team designated to work on the rock slide event came up with an innovative idea to help speed up the process of getting the road cleared and reopened.
Several precariously situated rocks needed to be removed before the park’s road crew could safely clear the debris. A fire monitor, (stand-alone nozzle) attached to a fire hose was used to precisely aim water at the base of dislodged rocks identified as overhead hazards. Rather than a “blasting operation” which has been a procedure used in the past, the team tried utilizing the park’s water trucks and firefighting equipment resources. The water monitor operation was a great success. Not only was it a lot safer than a blasting operation, it saved the park a considerable amount of money, time and limited the impact on wild life and natural and cultural sensitive areas.
On Tuesday the slide area was further analyzed by park staff and geologists who determined the area stable enough for cleanup and repairs to begin. Because rain is forecast in the coming week, the slide area will once more have to be assessed after initial clearing before the road can reopen.