Schnebly Hill Road scheduled for heavy maintenance, June 26 to August 15, 2017

Release Date: Jun 26, 2017  

Contact(s): Red Rock Visitor Center 928-203-2900, Amina Sena 928-203-2907, Media Contact: Brady Smith or George Jozens 928-224-8306


Update July 6, 2017: The current schedule for the Schnebly Hill Road project is:

  • Schnebly Hill Vista to Merry-Go-Round: June 26 to July 7
  • Huckaby Trailhead to Merry-Go-Round: July 10 to August 7

 


The Coconino National Forest has scheduled road maintenance and a temporary closure for the Schnebly Hill Road from today, June 26, 2017 until August 15 in order to repair and replace culverts as well as improve and construct road drainage features. The closure schedule may be varied as needed to complete the project.

The majority of this work will occur from the Huckaby trailhead up to the Schnebly Hill Vista, approximately five miles. In addition there will also be minor road maintenance on two areas that are approximately two miles east of Interstate 17 on Schnebly Hill Road.

The upper section of Schnebly Hill Road is scheduled to be closed to motorized access from June 26 through July 17, but could open sooner depending on work progress.

The lower section of the Schnebly Hill road will be closed after the top portion is completed. This closure could last until the project ends around August 15.

The trails in this area will continue to be open as well as the Huckaby trailhead with the exception of when the work begins on the lowest two miles of the road. At this time the safety concerns are such that the Munds Wagon Trail may be closed for about three days but the trailhead will remain open.

Traffic will not be allowed to travel on any section under construction during its maintenance, but the road will be open from I-17 to the Schnebly Hill Vista for the entire project.

“We are so thankful to be able to work with such great partners on this project that understand that good drainage on roads lead to better functioning watersheds and cleaner water quality,” said Red Rock Ranger Nicole Branton. “To provide for safe recreational activities while protecting the water quality of Oak Creek is a real win–win for our recreating public as well as all of our downstream users that benefit from the ecosystem services provided by a healthy watershed.” 

This project is being funded by the National Forest Foundation, CenturyLink and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality with assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency. Work is being done in collaboration with the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest, Pink Jeep Tours, Polaris and numerous downstream municipalities.

By decreasing erosion through improved drainage on the popular Schnebly Hill Road on the Red Rock Ranger District near Sedona, the NFF and partners are not only improving the road itself, they’re also keeping Oak Creek healthy and welcoming for residents and visitors.

The Schnebly Hill Road Erosion Control Project will provide many benefits to the watershed, to the local community and to local businesses. Water quality will improve in two key areas: First, reduced sediment will improve water clarity and fish habitat, while also protecting vital water reservoirs for millions of Phoenix-area residents. Second, minimizing sediment into Oak Creek limits the escalation of E. coli bacteria, a human health concern. Improving drainage on the road also provides a safer environment for the hundreds of thousands of recreationists that travel on Schnebly Hill Road each year, whether by jeep or by foot. Finally, the project will protect a vital artery of fiber optic communication that feeds all of northern Arizona, a valuable community asset that aligns with the Schnebly Hill Road right of way.

For more information please contact Amina Sena at 928-203-2907.