COTTONWOOD CANYONS, Utah (ABC4) — This season has seen plenty of road closures, especially in the Cottonwood Canyons. However, the potential for “large, destructive” avalanches over the next few days is leading officials to announce daily road closures ahead.
Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is calling current conditions “unprecedented” saying the historic, deep snowpack and rising temperatures are creating “extremely unpredictable avalanche scenarios.”
Because these avalanches have the potential to damage infrastructure and buildings, UDOT is planning to close roads daily until the avalanche risk has been mitigated.
Parts of SR-190 and SR-210, the roads directly affecting both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, will have intermittent closures from Sunday, Apr. 9, through Thursday, Apr. 13.
The best way to stay informed on the moment-by-moment changes is through UDOT Cottonwood’s social media accounts. However, here is the schedule as planned:
Big Cottonwood Canyon (SR-190)
SR-190 will be closed in both directions from the mouth of the canyon through Cardiff Fork, at milepost 10.7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local travel above Cardiff Fork will be permitted.
Little Cottonwood Canyon (SR-210)
SR-210 is scheduled to close after 10 p.m. tonight, Apr. 8, and then plans to open tomorrow from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. for travel in both directions. The road will close again for most of the rest of the day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. In addition, absolutely no roadside parking will be permitted.
While UDOT has not yet posted other closures for the week, officials anticipate SR-210 will experience “prolonged closures of multiple days” beginning Monday. UDOT is warning travelers to be prepared for that outcome.
“These road closures are due to high avalanche hazard impacting the roads. The UDOT Avalanche Team will be monitoring conditions closely and performing avalanche mitigation as necessary,” the press release said.