While “Be Prepared” is an old adage it is certainly true for this case of road construction covering @ 50 miles of of Highway 89 accessing the Lake Powell and Kanab areas.
Highway 89 from the Utah/AZ state line by Greenehaven, AZ and the turn off to Lone Rock Beach at Lake Powell, heading West to just before the Johnson Canyon turn off 17 miles east of Kanab, UT, can expect delays of up to 20 minutes for the next 3.5 to 4 months. Utah Department of Transportation is rehabilitating the road for longer life and smoother ride, which is a great thing. However, the summer Southern Utah heat and monsoon weather patterns can cause travelers some concerns.
Some Tips and Hints:
- Leave early and plan enough time to wait in case you are “that” car – you know the one stopped first in the line.
- Take water! and plenty of it. Think not only of you but of your poor car in the summer heat
- Have a extra bottle of anti-freeze/coolant in your trunk
- If your van or car is on its way to overheating and you don’t want to or can’t, stop, blast the heater and open the windows. It helps keep your engine slightly cooler”
As a side note here. I make the trip from Big Water, UT by Lake Powell to Kanab, UT several times a month. The 57 mile drive for me is like most folks run to the grocery store and the drive is second nature. Seemingly every other time I am on Highway 89 just west of New Paria on the mountain we call 5 Mile Mountain, inevitably someone is pulled over with an overheated car. The grade is steep and really is 5 miles long. Know your car but one good recommendation is roll down the windows and give the air conditioner a rest as you make that steep climb through our red rock canyons.
“Highway construction is necessary to eliminate unsafe road conditions, relieve congestion and to help with the free flow of goods and services that generates more than $64 billion in economic growth each year,” from Dennis Day, executive director for public affairs for Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration offers the following tips for work zone safety.
- Stay alert and pay attention to the roadway, signs and work zone flaggers
- Turn on headlights so workers and other drivers can see you
- Don’t tailgate or speed, and always slow to the posted limits, even if workers are not immediately visible
- Never change lanes in work zones
- Minimize distractions in vehicles such as cellular phones and onboard navigation systems
- Always expect the unexpected in a roadway work zone
Also remember on Highway 89 there are no services and plenty of wildlife. As we move in to late summer and early fall keep and eye out for the deer migrations, and antelope as well, across the highway.
Communities and Road Access Affected
- Big Water, UT
- Church Wells, UT
- Clark Bench, UT
- New Paria, UT
- Kanab, UT
- Page, AZ
- Greenehaven AZ
- Lone Rock Beach entrance to Lake Powell
- Wahweap entrance to Lake Powell
- Cottonwood Canyon Road on the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Be Safe and Be Prepared!
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