Arches National Park officials finally have some good news for visitors who have been inconvenienced by road construction work for much of 2017.
The project is nearing competition.
Crews will work a full day Wednesday instead of a half day as originally planned. Then there will be no work Thanksgiving Day or Friday and Saturday.
Crews will work the nights of Sunday and Monday to try to complete the project while the weather is good. That means the park will be closing at 7 p.m., when all vehicles must be out of the park. Arches reopens at 7 a.m. the next morning.
With favorable weather, the project could be completed by the end of November or early December.
The Devils Garden Campground is closed but is expected to reopen Dec. 1.
The massive project has included resurfacing, restoring and rehabilitating 23 miles of roads and pullouts in Arches National Park, the campground road and other spur roads and loops.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service has announced winter operating hours for Arches and Canyonlands national parks.
While the parks are open year round, some services are curtailed.
The Arches Visitor Center will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for Christmas Day when it will be closed.
At Canyonlands, Needles’ visitor center will close for the winter Saturday at 4 p.m. before reopening in March. The Island in the Sky Visitor Center will be closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and close for the winter on Dec. 31.
Permits are needed for all overnight backcountry use. For permit information, visit www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm. There is a self-registration backcountry kiosk at Needles for those who want to stay overnight.
Day-use permits are required for vehicle and bicycle travel on the Elephant Hill Road in Needles and the White Rim Road in Island in the Sky. Permits for Elephant Hill can be obtained at the self-registration center. Permits for White Rim are only available online 24 hours in advance of travel or the day of travel.