State Route 64 through Grand Canyon closed - CBS 5 - KPHO

UPDATE

State Route 64 through Grand Canyon closed

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(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, AZ (CBS5/AP) -

A state highway that runs through the Grand Canyon was closed Thursday morning after visitors disregarded the park closure after the federal government shutdown began.

State Route 64 remains open between Williams to Tusayan on the South Rim Entrance to the park, but the highway through the park will be closed until further notice, according to an Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman.

The spokesman said ADOT crews have set up message boards and signs warning drivers about the closure between the South Rim Entrance and the park's eastern entrance west of Cameron.

The highway will remain open to local traffic between Cameron and the eastern entrance, the spokesman said.

Drivers who normally would use SR 64 through the park are advised to use other northern Arizona highways, including Interstate 40 and US 89, the spokesman said.

The Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan is operated by ADOT and remains open, the spokesman said.

The Grand Canyon is among 401 national parks that were forced to turn away visitors after the federal government shut down.

Some tourists ignored the closure, pulling off the highway to peer over the rim.

Park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said the remaining staff has an obligation to protect the resources and to ensure safety.

She said anyone caught in restricted areas could receive a citation or be arrested.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has put up signs advising drivers that they cannot go farther than Tusayan, the tiny town just outside the park's South Rim entrance.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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