Opening of U-153 across Beaver Mountain to traffic will be delayed until about July 1 because of construction work on a 6-mile section of the road.
The highway connects Beaver City and the town of Junction, passing by Elk Meadows ski area and Puffer Lake. Other recreational sites on the Fishlake National Forest are also located near U-153.The state road is closed to all access from the east side of the mountain, according to Sterling Davis, District 3 Engineer for the Utah Department of Transportation at Richfield. Access to Puffer Lake and Elk Meadows from Beaver on the west side of the mountain remains open. A Beaver city project at the mouth of Beaver Canyon has caused some delay, however.
A portion of the road on the east side of the mountain is not paved and is routinely closed each winter. It is steep and narrow and has sharp curves and switchbacks. The road on the west side of the mountain is paved.
The road will be rebuilt from the City Creek Campground west of Junction to Betenson Flat and from Gunsight Flat to Big Flat. It will be widened to two lanes where possible, sharp curves will be eliminated and turns on the switchbacks improved. A new gravel surface will complete the project.
Reconstruction is also planned on the Kent's Lake/
LaBaron road from the upper junction with U-153 across Betenson Flat.
Construction on U-153 will be by the 115th Engineer Group of the Utah National Guard during its summer encampment. Some 700 Guardsmen are working with 150 pieces of heavy equipment.
The Fishlake National Forest and Piute County are also cooperating.
The National Guard will also be involved in several projects and in obliterating short roads between Timid Springs and Big Flat.
The projects include construction of two restrooms and a pavilion at the Tushar Lakeside group site; a pavilion at the Birch Creek group site; filling, draining and graveling the road in the Anderson Meadow campground; improving fisheries habitat at Mumford Reservoir by blasting to deepen runs; repairing and graveling the road at LeBaron Reservoir to provide better access to the site; and surfacing the trail to the public drinking water near the Big Flat Guard Station.