Big Cottonwood closed Wednesday as lake-effect snow hits Wasatch Front

Apr 5, 2023, 11:00 AM

Record breaking snow to bring large amounts of runoff....

Snow in Big Cottonwood Canyon is pictured on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (Photo credit: Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Photo credit: Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah — The Utah Department of Transportation said state Route 190 in Big Cottonwood Canyon will not open Wednesday as crews continue avalanche mitigation work.

UDOT Cottonwoods tweeted that helicopter mitigation work is ongoing and road crews are working to clear debris from the road. No time for when the canyon will reopen was given.

The cleanup efforts come as bands of lake-effect snow brought slick and icy road conditions to parts of the Wasatch Front during Wednesday morning’s commute.

Multiple crashes were reported on Interstate 15, leading to northbound delays near Point of the Mountain in Lehi and southbound slowdowns between Provo and Spanish Fork.

Little Cottonwood Canyon remained closed Wednesday morning with no estimated reopening time as well.

University of Utah meteorologist Jim Steenburgh, known as Professor Powder on Twitter, said the avalanche risk level on Little Cottonwood Canyon Road is higher than any major road in the county.

State Route 210, which runs up Little Cottonwood, was closed Monday and Tuesday as crews worked to reduce the risk of slides coming down and hitting the road during a record-setting snowpack year.

“There’s nothing to stop these avalanches from hitting the highway,” Steenburgh said. “People will say that the slide paths are greased… everything’s buried. There’s no trees, no rocks to break these things up, and so they’re just running right to the road. ”

Warmer weather on the way

KSL Chief Meteorologist Kevin Eubank said snow will linger through midday Wednesday and move out by the afternoon. The rest of the week looks warmer and dryer with highs bouncing into the 60s in the north and 70s and 80s across the south.

Also read: Feet of new snow in Utah mountains, and extended ski seasons

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Big Cottonwood closed Wednesday as lake-effect snow hits Wasatch Front