UTAH COUNTY

Provo Canyon closing intermittently to mitigate rock slides

Mar 28, 2023, 11:00 AM | Updated: Mar 29, 2023, 8:37 am

provo canyon is pictured, the canyon will be closed for the time being...

Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon is pictured on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah — Anyone planning to head up to Provo Canyon Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon should expect delays.

The Utah Department of Transportation announced intermittent closures of US-189 in Provo Canyon while crews conduct blasting operations to remove a rock overhang near the highway.

UDOT expects up to three separate 20-minute closures between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday and from 9:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Therefore, drivers should plan to avoid this window or allow extra travel time.

Part of a rock wall above the 800 North on-ramps to US-189 in Orem gave way earlier this month. UDOT attributes the rock deterioration to weather.

Now, UDOT needs to bring down the remaining portion that overhangs the freeway to ensure safety for drivers.

“We had concerns about this approximate 80 ft. long by up to 8 ft. tall by 5 or 6 ft. deep of rock that’s precariously perched above the roadway here,” said Ari Menitove, a geological engineer for UDOT.

According to Menitove, the rock has suffered multiple fractures that could cause slab breakoff. 

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Provo Canyon closing intermittently to mitigate rock slides