PointofInterestRoadSigns.com - Utah - Zion National Park - Impassable Barrier


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Impassable Barrier


Location of sign - Zion National park - Highway 9 near the tunnel


Photo taken- July 2008


Impassable Barrier Road Sign at Zion National Park

Close up view of sign


Impassable Barrier Road Sign at Zion National Park

Wide view of sign


Text of sign:


Impassable Barrier


In the 1920s this end of the canyon appeared to be a dead end, an impassable barrier to transportation.  To highway engineers the

toughest challenge was the cliff above.  Their solution: a one-mile tunnel behind the cliff face.  


When tunnel and highway were completed in 1930, they opened the region to motor tourism, linking Zion to Bryce and the Grand

Canyon's North Rim.  Now the tunnel itself has become kind of a barrier, as today's RVs and tour buses are too large for two-way

traffic within the tunnel.  Expect short delays as oncoming traffic is held to allow oversize vehicles to pass through.

Work on the tunnel began with drilling small shafts into the north-facing cliff. Those shafts later became the tunnel's windows or

galleries, like the ones visible here.  The four galleries are not the only source of light and air but were places to expel rubble as 

workmen tunneled toward both ends.

Portions of the tunnel were shored with timbers. In 1937 the entire tunnel was lined with concrete.


The temporary wooded framework as the east portal was replaced with a concrete bridge.


The small pilot tunnel was enlarged by drilling and blasting.  Crews moved forward 30 to 36 feet a day.

Graphics on the Sign


In addition to the text there are historical photos from construction of the Zion National Park tunnel.


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