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18 Wheeler gets stuck in Zion NP Tunnel


Al F

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Any commercial truck driver should be well aware that no commercial traffic is allowed in the National Parks.

 

This guy just ignored everything and figured, since it was night, around 11pm no one would catch him. The alternate route around to the south is an extra 70-100 miles. If he owns the truck, he is out the cost of repairs even with insurance, not to mention the lost of the use of the truck while repairs are being made. The loss of income during repairs, while truck expenses still continue, will probably cost him more than the impact of the insurance, assuming he owns the truck. It someone else owns the truck, no telling what will happen. Firing maybe?

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Per the article: "After 4:30 p.m., daily, in fall and winter, the tunnel is closed to all vehicles that are over 11'4" in height or 7'10" in width, due to no available traffic control service. "

 

So why did he get stuck just because there was "no available traffic control service"???

 

Actually looks like plenty of room. if he scrapes, wait out traffic and move over to center of road.

14-41-Truck-stuck-in-Zion-Tunnel.jpg

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When big rigs go through they are told to drive down the middle. Traffic in one-way only. Perhaps he was trying to stay in his lane and drove too far to one side and clipped the curved tunnel above. Regardless, commercial trucks are not even supposed to be using the tunnel at any time. I'm sure he got a fine in addition to other problems.

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I don't know the tunnel but a "traffic control service" implies that there is one-way through that tunnel in order to allow higher and/or wider vehicles to go down the middle (where the arc of the tunnel's shape allows the highest clearance). After 4:30pm it gets dark and the "service" people probably go home for dinner or something.

 

WDR

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Here is the link to the tunnel traffic info from Zion NP: http://www.nps.gov/zion/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-zion-mt-carmel-highway-and-tunnel.htm

 

Here is a quote about the vehicle height from the above referenced info.

 

 

Q. What are the size limits for an oversized vehicle?
A. Any vehicle that is 11 feet 4 inches high or higher and 7 feet 10 inches wide or wider needs the one-way traffic control service. Any vehicle 13 feet high or higher cannot pass through the tunnel.
Length restrictions are 40 feet for a single vehicle and 50 feet for any vehicle combination.
This information is also listed on the back page of the Park Newspaper. Visitors must pay for the one-way traffic control service at the entrance stations - not at the tunnel.

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I might have followed my GPS until the first notice about low clearance ahead. Following the GPS is not an excuse because there are all kinds of warnings on the approach to the tunnel. Three years ago I refused to take my 12' high trailer through because I was over 50' long - 34' trailer and 22' truck, so I stayed on the west side and only drove my truck through.

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Any commercial truck driver should be well aware that no commercial traffic is allowed in the National Parks.

 

This guy just ignored everything and figured, since it was night, around 11pm no one would catch him. The alternate route around to the south is an extra 70-100 miles. If he owns the truck, he is out the cost of repairs even with insurance, not to mention the lost of the use of the truck while repairs are being made. The loss of income during repairs, while truck expenses still continue, will probably cost him more than the impact of the insurance, assuming he owns the truck. It someone else owns the truck, no telling what will happen. Firing maybe?

That begs the question_ how did he get past the entrance gate? Me thinks that driver lost a few bricks somewhere. In addition to everything you mentioned, now he gets to pay for a tunnel safety inspection.

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  • 1 month later...

When we were staying at Zion, I talked to a lady next to us who had had a bad experience with the tunnel guard. She had paid her $20 for the tunnel transit permit (and the rangers at the entrance station had eyeballed her camper and approved it), but when she reached the top of the 2-lane road to the tunnel, the guard there refused to let her enter. Problem was that there was absolutely no place for her to turn her truck/camper rig around and go back down the road. Traffic was backing up behind and she didn't know what she was going to do. Luckily, just then another guard showed up who said there would be no problem with her transiting the tunnel and overruled the original guard. They stopped oncoming traffic for her and she said she whizzed through the tunnel with no problem at all.

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