Utah State Route 9
Utah State Route 9. Photo: Spencer / CC BY-SA 3.0

This year marks the National Parks Centennial, an event years in the planning. Celebrations started in 2015 with “Find Your Park,” which is partly responsible for the increase in visitation to national parks everywhere.

So why have UDOT and Springdale decided that 2016 is the time to gut Utah State Route 9 from Rockville to Zion’s south entrance, rendering Springdale’s only road into the park virtually impassable in the middle of a tourist season that will break visitation records?

Springdale’s mayor has called the project “a nightmare,” but the mayor and town council have not asked UDOT to delay the project for one year. Apparently, neither has Zion National Park. What are these people thinking?

I live in Springdale, and I saw on a daily basis the congestion created by 3.5 million visitors in 2015. I can’t imagine what 2016 will look like.

This is a disaster in the making. The poor, unsuspecting visitors who come to Zion to “find their park” will have a nightmarish experience, as the mayor predicts, and the damage to Springdale’s tourism industry could last for decades.

Is it too late for UDOT to reschedule?

Louise Excell

Springdale

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I live in Virgin not for from Springdale. There will never be a good time to tear up SR9. I tell all my friends and family and anyone else to avoid Zion National Park and Springdale. With the immense crowds in the Park and in Springdale it is not a fun or quality experience.

    The problems will diminish if the Park simply goes to a permit system, restricting the number of visitors. This would curb a lot of the tour buses and motor homes. The wildlife in the Park would get some relief, the road noise would lessen, the Park buses wouldn’t take such a beating.

    Restricting the number of visitors is nothing but a win win situation.

  2. Tell me when would be a good time to do the construction? I remember in 1985 there was road construction on SR9 and also later when they widened the road again between Rockville and Virgin, it was not pleasant. There was a lot less visitation at that time also. If we delay it, it will just me more people will be inconvenienced. Let us get it done it is a safety factor.

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