ST. GEORGE — Snowfall and icy road conditions caused traffic on state Route 18 to become backed up Monday night, followed by a closure of Interstate 15 near mile marker 27 a few hours later. While I-15 was reopened by Tuesday morning, weather impacts led to another closure on state Route 9 through Zion National Park.
According to the Utah Department of Transportation website, at approximately 1:50 a.m., SR-9 from mile markers 32-45 was closed in both directions. At that point, the estimated duration was listed as 12 hours, but the advisory also said there was no estimated time of clearance.
The closure came after other weather-related incidents Monday evening. Just after 6 p.m. Steve Haluska, the fire chief for the Central Fire Department, posted on Facebook that SR-18 was backed up near the Diamond Valley Cinder Cone. Just after 6:30 p.m., the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the road was backed up to approximately mile marker 10 on SR-18.
Snowplows were working to clear the area. This was followed by the closure on I-15 just south of the Black Ridge a few hours later as a result of slide-offs in the area.
Road weather alert
According to a road weather alert posted Monday afternoon by the Utah Department of Transportation, snow showers have been falling in Southern Utah with the highest road snow impacts between Kanarraville and Leeds on Interstate 15 and the adjacent mountains and valleys. Snow showers are expected to continue into the evening and expand in coverage and move north.
Spotty areas of light road snow is also possible as far north as Utah and Salt Lake counties Tuesday morning. Road snow concerns are expected to diminish by Tuesday afternoon.
Road snow is expected along much of the I-15 corridor in Southern and Central Utah, with the heaviest amounts through Black Ridge Canyon. This includes the possibility for St. George and surrounding areas to see brief periods of slushy roads after sunset. The entire route of Interstate 70 is expected to see road snow with the greatest concerns east of Salina over Salina Summit and over the Plateau.
Expect periods of heavy road snow along state Route 12, especially near Bryce Canyon and over Boulder Summit. The Monticello/Blanding region can also expect road snow this evening. As mentioned, Salt Lake and Utah counties have the potential to see some light road snow creating slick spots for Tuesday’s morning commute. Southern and Central Utah Mountains look to pick up a significant amount of snow with the highest totals over Brian Head/state Route 14 and the Pine Valley Mountains.
Motorists are advised to use caution and TravelWise. Motorists heading up canyon and mountain routes should be prepared for chain restrictions at any time during snow events.
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