The Utah Education Association (UEA) holiday weekend construction schedule has been changed for Arches National Park. The park will now be open with no road construction work from 7 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 20, to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22.
On Sundays through Thursdays, visitors must arrive at the park before 6:30 p.m. Visitors arriving after 6:30 p.m. on those days will not be able to travel past the visitor center.
All vehicles must be out of the park no later than 7 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights. The park reopens at 7 a.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and is open weekends from 7 a.m. Fridays until 7 p.m. Sundays during this road construction project. The park’s current visitor center hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Devils Garden Campground remains closed through Nov. 30.
The La Sal Mountain Viewpoint and Balanced Rock opened at 7 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29. However, these areas will be closed again at a later date in order to re-work some of the asphalt that did not meet specifications.
The Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers viewpoint and trailhead areas were scheduled to close at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1, and are scheduled to reopen at 7 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 20. Park officials said these areas will be closed to all access and use for visitor and worker safety.
Given the many variables that can affect road projects of this type and scope, park officials said that these area opening and closing dates are subject to change.
Work to replace the park’s main road has begun, using a technique called cold in-place recycling, which involves using several pieces of equipment hooked together that grind up the existing asphalt, mix in asphalt emulsion and cement, and then re-lay the product as the new road base.
During this phase of the construction project, as many as 10 to 12 asphalt haul trucks per hour will travel through Moab into the park and then return to the asphalt plant south of town between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights.
The road work includes the resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation of approximately 23 miles of roads and pullouts in Arches National Park along the entrance road, main park road, the campground road and other spur roads and loops. The work is scheduled to last through November.
Limited daytime road closures may still occur even with nighttime work. Construction crews will use pilot cars and flaggers to control traffic during the day.
When partial daytime road closures are in effect, crews will limit traffic delays to 30 minutes or less per work zone. While park officials say that construction crews will make every effort to minimize disruption to visitor daytime travel and activities during this project, visitors should expect frequent delays and closures.
The park will post road construction updates on its official website as they become available. However, construction work schedules are subject to change.
Visitors to the Moab area can find a wide variety of spectacular scenery and hikes in other public lands around the region. Information about these other travel and hiking options can be found on the Moab Travel Council’s website:www.discovermoab.com.
General information about Arches National Park can be found at www.nps.gov/arch, or by calling 435- 719-2299.