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  • Mt. Lemmon Highway to open Saturday after repairs to guardrails completed

    Jul 30, 2020 | Read More News
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    Through coordinated efforts of the Pima County Department of Transportation, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Forest Service Coronado National Forest, Mt. Lemmon Highway will reopen beginning Saturday, August 1.guardrails

    To prepare Mt. Lemmon Highway for safe public access, the Pima County Department of Transportation and contracted workers replaced more than 250 guardrail posts that were critically damaged during the Bighorn Fire. Replacement of non-critically damaged posts will continue.  The total number of posts needing replacement is more than 490. 

    Repair work will continue next week, including the repair or replacement of nearly 1,700 feet of guardrail. Speed reductions and lane restrictions will remain in place in areas where repair work continues.

    “We are grateful to Deputy Pima County Administrator Carmine DeBonis and the Department of Transportation for their tireless efforts to safely and quickly re-open the Mt. Lemmon Highway,” said District 4 Supervisor Steve Christy. “This year has been a struggle for all local businesses and those on the mountain have endured two shutdowns because of the pandemic and the fire. I am sure we all look forward to escaping the heat and enjoying some Summerhaven hospitality.”

    Reopening will allow vehicular access on Mt. Lemmon Highway to Summerhaven and Ski Valley. Limited parking is available in these areas. Once parking areas become full, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department will control access to Mt. Lemmon Highway until enough vehicles leave and allow for additional visitors to drive up the mountain.

    National Forest areas on the mountain will remain closed. Closed areas of the Santa Catalina Mountains and Coronado National Forest include:

    • Control Road #38 Scenic Drive
    • General Hitchcock Campground
    • Gordon Hirabayashi Campground
    • Rose Canyon Campground
    • Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
    • Sabino Canyon Trail #23
    • Spencer Canyon Campground
    • Additional road and trail closures may be in place
    A closure order for lands managed by the Coronado National Forest in Mt. Lemmon and the Upper Sabino Canyon remains in effect for public safety. The closure is in place because the hazards to public health and safety are still present. The closure order is subject to change and the Coronado National Forest regularly assesses the conditions on the ground.

    For updated information about recreation opportunities in the Coronado National Forest, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/coronado/recreation.

    A lightning strike sparked the Bighorn Fire on June 5, which burned for nearly seven weeks, covered 120,000 acres, and closed public access to the mountain.

    Information on road closures can be found here. After hours and weekend weather related road conditions are available from the Sheriff's Department Hotline number: (520) 547-7510.