Utah State Route 276

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State Route 276

Route information
Defined by Utah Code §72-4-133
Maintained by UDOT
Length91.879 mi[1] (147.865 km)
Existed1965–present
Major junctions
West end SR-95 at Trachyte Junction
East end SR-95 near Natural Bridges National Monument
Location
CountryUnited States
StateUtah
Highway system
  • Utah State Highway System
SR-275 SR-279

State Route 276 is a state highway in remote portions of San Juan County, eastern Garfield County, and Kane County, in the southeast of the U.S. state of Utah. The route is used as an access to Lake Powell, serving the small resort towns of Ticaboo and Bullfrog. The entire route is part of the Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway. Lake Powell separates the route into two sections. The two sections are usually connected via the Charles Hall Ferry, the only auto ferry in Utah, although the ferry has been out of service in periods of low lake levels. The eastern section was numbered State Route 263 prior to the existence of the ferry.

Route description

Near eastern terminus

Route 276 is a loop route beginning and ending at Utah State Route 95. While signed as a contiguous East-West highway, SR 276 is broken into two sections by the Colorado River, Lake Powell, and Glen Canyon. The portion of the highway within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is maintained by the U.S. Department of the Interior, though continues to be signed and mileposted as part of route 276.

The western section is actually more North-South in orientation. It begins in a remote portion of the Utah desert near Mount Hillers, with the nearest town being Hanksville It proceeds south towards the Colorado River. As the highway approaches Glen Canyon, the highway passes through the tiny community of Ticaboo. The western section terminates at the Bullfrog marina and resort area (also called Bullfrog Basin). The western section is 43 miles (69 km) long, though the state maintained portion is 35 miles (56 km).

When water levels permit ferry operation, the two sections are connected via the Charles Hall Ferry, which is funded and maintained by Utah Department of Transportation despite being inside the National Recreation Area. This is the only auto ferry in the state of Utah,[2] resulting in UDOT frequently having to recruit contractors and employees from out of state to maintain and operate the ferry.[3]

The eastern section runs east-northeast for 49 miles (79 km) (state maintained portion is 36 miles (58 km)), from the marina and ferry at Halls Crossing, to rejoin State Route 95 near Natural Bridges National Monument. Aside from the facilities at the marina, there are no services or towns along the eastern portion.

History

The ferry

The State Road Commission designated SR-276 in 1965, linking SR-95 with the Bullfrog Basin portion of the new Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The original planned alignment followed an existing unpaved county road, beginning at the former alignment of SR-95 at Trachyte Junction (heading generally south to the junction of Shitamaring Creek and Lost Spring Wash. The proposed road continued down Shitamaring Creek and Hansen Creek to the recreation boundary. However, when built in the late 1960s,[4] the final route was east of the existing county road, only joining the initial proposal along Hansen Creek south of Ticaboo.[5]

State Route 263 was created by the state legislature in 1969, connecting the recreation area near Halls Crossing with SR-95 near Natural Bridges National Monument. This was an existing county road, only requiring minor realignments west of Red House Spring. Ferry service between Bullfrog Basin and Halls Crossing began in 1985,[6] and that year SR-276 was extended to absorb SR-263 for continuity.[7] The ferry was originally called the John Atlantic Burr Toll Ferry, but was renamed the Charles Hall ferry.[2] By 2022, The ferry was out of service due to low water levels.[8] UDOT restored limited ferry service in July 2024, after water levels began to recover.[9]

Major intersections

Note: Mile markers as posted do not include the distance traversed by the ferry. UDOT's mileage log has a milepost equation of 2.14 miles (3.44 km) along the eastern portion. For example, milepost 54 is located at mile 56.14 in UDOT's log. The total gap in miles between the two ferry ramps is 3.74 miles (6.02 km) in the mileage logs.

CountyLocationmi[1]kmDestinationsNotes
GarfieldTrachyte Junction0.0000.000 SR-95Western terminus
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area35.01356.348Federal aid route 1878State maintenance ends
KaneBullfrog40.43665.075Federal aid route 1878Ferry ramp; State maintenance begins
KaneSan Juan
county line
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area40.43665.075Charles Hall Ferry across Lake Powell
San JuanHalls Crossing44.18271.104Federal aid route 2464Ferry ramp; State maintenance ends
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area55.88089.930Federal aid route 2464State maintenance begins
91.879147.865 SR-95Eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  1. ^ a b "Highway Reference Online - SR-276". Utah Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
  2. ^ a b "Receipts of State-Administered Toll Road and Crossing Facilities - 2000 - Table SF-3B".
  3. ^ Arave, Lynn (January 24, 2009). "UDOT's ferry on Lake Powell is no desert mirage". Deseret News. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  4. ^ Federal Highway Administration, National Bridge Inventory database, 2006
  5. ^ "State Road Resolutions SR-276.pdf". Utah Department of Transportation. (1.54 MB), updated December 2007, accessed May 2008
  6. ^ Mike Leary, Philadelphia Inquirer, Two Sides Clash Over Taming a Trail for Tourism, November 10, 1985
  7. ^ "State Road Resolutions SR-263.pdf". Utah Department of Transportation. (2.40 MB), updated December 2007, accessed May 2008
  8. ^ "Does Utah need a $270 million bridge across Lake Powell? Rep. Phil Lyman thinks so". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2022-10-31.
  9. ^ Williams, Carter (July 3, 2024). "Popular Lake Powell ferry service returns after low waters kept it docked for 3 years". [[w:KSL-TV|]]. Retrieved July 5, 2024.

External links