Rock Slide Closes Highway 14
A rock slide has closed Utah State Route 14, the road through Cedar Canyon and up over the Cedar Mountains that connects to U.S. Highway 89 in Kane County. Rocks and debris cover the highway in the area east of Milt's Stage Stop. This area has been prone to rock slides.
In 2011, a large landslide detached from the south side of Cedar Canyon approximately eight miles east of Cedar City. That landslide took out a 1,200 foot section of Highway 14. That landslide happened in October of that year, and kept Highway 14 closed until July of 2012.
The Tropic Shale and Dakota Formation are exposed in the lower part of the canyon wall and are susceptible to landsliding. Published reports of landslides along this section of SR-14 go back to at least 1949, and a similar large landslide closed SR-14 for several months in 1989.
In 2009, a large rock fall,estimated volume 60,000 cubic yards, detached from the Tibbet Canyon Member cliff at this location and closed SR-14 for several days.An examination at that time showed no evidence of associated landsliding either prior to or following the rock fall.
As was the case with the 2011 landslide, a wetter-than-normal winter this year may have raised the groundwater level and pore-water pressure in the pre-failure landslide mass in connection with today's closure.
At least three abandoned coal mines are known to be near the landslide, but the extent to which underground workings may have contributed to this and previous landsliding at this location is unclear.
East bound highway 14 is currently closed at Milepost 5, so persons needing to access Right Hand Canyon will be able to do so. Eastbound traffic is closed at Milepost 18, at the junction of the recently opened Highway 148. Travelers can take Highway 148 through the Cedar Break National Monument to the junction of Highway 143. You can then take Highway 143 through Brianhead down to Parowan.
There is no definite time line for when the road will re-open, but on the UDOT website they estimated the closure to be for 2 hours.