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Cliff Dwellings Remain Closed Following Flooding

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

National Park News

A week and a half after the north approach to the West Fork bridge on New Mexico Highway 15 was damaged by flood waters the bridge and Gila Cliff Dwellings a half mile beyond them remain closed.  Continued rain and snow for the past week have kept state highway crews busy just keeping area roads open and a 17-mile section of Highway 15 was closed over the weekend of January 23rd and 24th as crews could not keep up with all of the snow plowing needs.  Monument staff are working on options for temporary vehicle or foot access over the damaged approach, but do not expect to have a plan approved and in place until early this week and must then secure either a portable military bridge for vehicles or gangway from a marina operation for pedestrian access.  Long-term repairs by the state highway department are under discussion, but no determination is expected for several weeks due to issues with continued high water levels in the Gila River and a need to find a more flood-proof means to repair the approaches to the bridge than have been undertaken in years past.  Once the ground in the area dries out, monument will evaluate the feasibility of guided tours at the TJ site to provide visitors with a chance to see some of the monument's archaeological resources.



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