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UDOT federal road plow
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UDOT agrees to plow federal roads at some Utah national parks

photo courtesy of Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — While the federal government is in partial shutdown mode, the Utah Department of Transportation announced a plan to plow some federal roads through the state’s national park lands until the federal government re-opens.

UDOT spokesman John Gleason says it’s important that the roads get plowed for the safety of tourists who utilize the parks.

“It was an issue that we saw, and we worked with the Governor’s office and the Office of Tourism to make this happen.  It was really a group of people who saw the problem and wanted to make sure we addressed it,” says Gleason.

Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park both signed on almost immediately, and plows were busy working on roads there, while Capitol Reef will likely wait until after the next storm to sign on.  Bryce Canyon says it still has money left in the budget to keep roads plowed for now and Zion’s roads are clear.

UDOT says it will cost between $15,000 and $25,000 per storm to plow those roads.  State officials say they are keeping tabs on what they spend keeping the roads open and will ask for reimbursement from the federal government when the partial closure ends.