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The Mill Creek Canyon road will be closed at the winter gate at Maple Grove starting Sept. 21 to allow the U.S. Forest Service to replace aging culverts.

The winter-gate closure usually doesn't occur until Nov. 1, said Forest Service spokeswoman Kathy Jo Pollock, but it has been moved up this year to allow large construction equipment to tear out the culvert and its surrounding asphalt before winter snows arrive.

Only residents of Fir Summer Homes will be allowed to drive motor vehicles above the Maple Grove gate, she added, although hikers and bikers may use the road and trails up to the Thousand Springs area, where the culvert work is taking place.

"Trail users accessing upper Mill Creek Canyon from Big Cottonwood Canyon or Park City need to be aware that access down Mill Creek Canyon road and within the construction area is prohibited," Pollock said.

She said the culverts are being replaced to allow the road surface to be widened, to create additional capacity for high water flows and to improve upstream fish passage.

Mike Gorrell