3-D digital scanning causes closures in Zion Tunnel

Entrance to the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Tunnel, Zion National Park, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion National Park, St. George News

SPRINGDALE – Zion National Park will be using a digital 3-D scanner to map the inside of the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Tunnel to assess its condition. Visitors through the tunnel should expect 20- to 30-minute delays due to tunnel closures on weekdays from March 12-27.

The tentative project schedule is as follows:

  • March 12  – The tunnel will be closed three times for approximately 20 minutes each
  • March 16-20  – From 6-8 a.m., the tunnel will be closed for up to 25 minutes at a time
  • March 23-27 – The scanning may be finished by this time, but if not, it will continue on the same 6-8 a.m. schedule as the week before

The park’s cultural resources staff leased the 3-D laser scanners in order to create a digital 3-D model of the tunnel.  Using this model, the park will be able to document the tunnel construction materials and methods in a way that would be impossible through any other means without closing the tunnel for extensive periods of time. The digital 3-D model of the tunnel may then be used to assess the condition of the tunnel, assess any damage, obtain measurements of tunnel elements, and assist in park planning.

Submitted by Zion National Park

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