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SALT LAKE CITY — Inclement weather and a lack of funding forced the closure of Arches National Park's main road Monday.
Slick roads and crashes in the Salt Lake Valley and Park City also caused significant traffic delays and left one person critically injured.
Arches National Park was forced to close the main road at the visitor center due to unsafe driving conditions and a lack of funding during the partial federal government shutdown, the park tweeted. Visitors will not be able to enter the park until the road is reopened.
"Because of the lapse of funding, the National Park Service is unable to provide services, including plowing of roads," the tweet reads.
The road will remain closed indefinitely and will reopen either when the snow and ice melt or when the park receives funding to continue plow services, officials said. Arches staff will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance or emergency response while the road is closed, and there will be no visitor services, officials added.
The National Weather service advised travelers to expect "snow-packed and icy road conditions" with 1-4 inches of snow until 9 p.m.
It is unknown how long the road will be closed. Access to the park will not occur until the snow and ice melts or until the National Park Service receives funding to continue plowing operations.— Arches National Park (@ArchesNPS) December 31, 2018
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Only Zion National Park will remain open and staffed in the new year as the state pulls back funding during the shutdown, officials announced Friday.
The other three parks — Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef — will remain open but without services like public restrooms, clean bathrooms, trash collection — and snow plowing.
All five of the national parks were previously able to remain open thanks to funding from the Utah Office of Tourism. Zion National Park will remain open thanks to a donation from a private foundation.
Salt Lake City
A truck failed to yield to oncoming traffic and was hit by an SUV on northbound Redwood Road at 700 North about 7:30 a.m., Salt Lake City police confirmed.
Three people, one in critical condition, were transported to nearby hospitals, police said. The crash closed the road, but it reopened about 8:30 a.m., according to KSL Traffic Center.
Big and Little Cottonwood canyons
Wasatch Boulevard between Big and Little Cottonwood canyons became a parking lot for several hours as many in Utah headed to the ski resorts early Monday, the KSL Traffic Center reported. Delays have since improved and there wasn't any congestion in the area as of 1 p.m.
Here are the delays on Wasatch Blvd between Big & Little Cottonwood Canyons. Both directions are a parking lot for MILES as the entire population of Utah appears to be heading to the ski resorts. pic.twitter.com/LWmSV2gFvU— Heather Kelly (@KSLHeatherKelly) December 31, 2018
Vehicles entering the canyons were required to be equipped with four-wheel drive or chains earlier Monday morning, but that restriction has since been lifted. Little Cottonwood Canyon was closed for avalanche control about 11:30 a.m. but reopened earlier than expected about an hour later.
Delays into Big Cottonwood Canyon improving. But, NOT for Little Cottonwood. Wall-to-wall traffic on Wasatch Blvd to SR-210 and on 9400 South from Mt. Jordan Rd into the Canyon. pic.twitter.com/yN3e6aNUw8— Heather Kelly (@KSLHeatherKelly) December 31, 2018
A Jeep and Subaru collided head-on about 7:20 a.m. when the Jeep turned left onto Ute Boulevard from northbound state Route 224 and hit the front of the Subaru.
The female driver of the Subaru was transported to the hospital with injuries that were serious, but not life-threatening.
The crash forced a partial closure of the road, and commuters squeezed by on the right shoulder, causing traffic to back up to I-80 east of Kimball Junction. A few lanes were reopened about 8:05 a.m. Traffic was delayed in the area for about 45 minutes until the scene was investigated and cleared about 8:30 a.m.
"This heavily impacted the traffic to the ski resorts in the Park City Area," Utah Highway Patrol officials said in an emailed statement.
Crash on SB SR-224 at Olympic Pkwy. Cars squeezing by on the right shoulder backing traffic to I-80. pic.twitter.com/WX519wsAtu— Heather Kelly (@KSLHeatherKelly) December 31, 2018
From Centerville to Farmington
Semitrucks and other high-profile vehicles should take precautions when driving along I-15 between Centerville and Farmington, as well as the US-89 Layton foothills Monday night, Utah Department of Transportation officials said.
Winds will reach speeds of up to 75 mph in the area but should calm down by the morning.