Heavy traffic, possibly delays expected up Cottonwood Canyons this weekend

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Courtesy: UDOT Cottonwood Canyons

Courtesy: UDOT Cottonwood Canyons

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah (ABC4) – Two to three feet of snow could fall in the Cottonwood Canyons in the coming days — a reality that will bring skiers by the thousands during a holiday weekend.

The timing, though, also coincides with a rise in avalanche danger; more snow means more backcountry risk, and so far this year six people have died in Utah avalanches.

Up Little Cottonwood Canyon, drivers might encounter road closures as UDOT teams work on avalanche mitigation. The canyon is notorious for avalanche activity.

“One of the most challenging areas for avalanche control work in all of North America,” said John Gleason with Utah Dept. of Transportation.

“And it’s because of the proximity of people, of live traffic moving through there. And the amount of slide paths that we see. So, it’s an area that we pay very close attention to. We want to make sure that we’re keeping everyone’s safety in mind,” added Gleason.

“We have a lot of slide paths up there, and we have to be incredibly diligent to make sure those slides don’t come down on their own. If they’re coming down, we want to be the ones to trigger them,” said Gleason.

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