State Route 14- Update

Last modified on Oct 17, 2013

The closure of state Route 14 after a massive landslide Oct. 8 has travelers frustrated, but they should be grateful that no one was injured from the collapse of an estimated 300 feet that spans one-third of a mile.

The Utah Department of Transportation has quite a chore ahead of itself with repair to the road that has basically slid down into the gulch eight miles east of Cedar City. The state agency is looking at contracting for the project and hopes to have construction completed by June.

A previous slide comparable to one that took place less than a year ago happened in 1989. A temporary road repair followed with a more permanent repair in the early '90s. That "permanent" repair lasted nearly two decades. For the next "permanent" repair, UDOT is completing its aerial survey analysis to determine repair costs. As was done in the '90s, patience must be exercised with longer-than-normal commutes.

One challenge is figuring out how to accommodate winter snow operations during SR-14's closure. UDOT has had discussions with Cedar Breaks National Monument so recreational access is still possible, even with the added predicted seasonal closure of SR-148.

Options identified include access from U.S. Highway 89 up to Navajo Lake. SR-143 through Brian Head, and along the back side from Long Valley Junction, is also a viable traveling option as the thoroughfare connects travelers from Parowan to Brian Head and to Panguitch. There is also a Garfield County road called Mammoth Creek that connects the communities for access to recreational opportunities. The county is trying to keep that road open as much as possible during the closure of SR-14.

UDOT is also moving additional resources to SR-143 because that road typically has periodic closures related to weather conditions. While closures are still a possibility, the added resources will minimize those chances as much as possible.

Though the closure of SR-14 is an inconvenience it is laudable the state, counties, monument and added resources are doing all that can be done to accommodate recreational enthusiasts and travelers outside the area. What is also praiseworthy is the information readily available about landslide repairs. The easiest way to get to the SR-14 landslide repair web page is to go to www.udot.utah.gov and click on the "S.R. 14 Closed" picture that scrolls onto the screen. The other option is to type "landslide repair" in the search box on the home page's upper right corner and then choose the first result, or click on the SR-14 closed picture that scrolls onto the screen.

People also can subscribe to RSS feeds on "Know Where Know Why" on UDOT's website that is an orange bar at the top right of the main page. There is also a link to the web page from there. Of course, The Spectrum & Daily News also will provide updates.

Not all is lost with the landslide that took out SR-14. Alternatives have been identified, and once again, thankfully, no one was hurt. So stay informed and keep safe in your travels.-

-Taken from "The Spectrum" November 1, 2011-

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