Mesa Verde Repairs Cause Popular National Park Attraction To Close

Mesa Verde repairs are causing officials to close off popular attractions at the national park while they work to get the historical landmarks back in safe conditions.

Archeologists found a crack in the southern half of the largest and most famous cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park, leading park officials to close off the area and keep visitors away this summer, the Associated Press reported. The park announced last week that it was structural problems that had prevented them from opening the attraction, and they detailed plans for the Mesa Verde repairs.

They placed wooden braces around the kiva–a round, Pueblo Indian ceremonial structure created in the 13th century–to help shore up the structure, the Associated Press reported. The unsound structure had prevented visitors from getting close to the kiva on tours of Cliff Palace during the summer.

The crack was actually found last summer, one of a series of problems with Cliff Palace. The structure was constructed on a hill that gives it a sloping floor, so over time the entire structure has been sliding gradually forward, the Associated Press reported. Dripping water was also a problem, but park officials said they devised a way to route the water away from the building.

Mesa Verde National Park is not only a U.S. National Park but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in Montezuma County, Colorado.

The Mesa Verde repairs aren’t the only thing that park visitors had to watch out for this summer. In late July the hot and dry conditions led to a wildfire in one portion of the park. A lightning strike on July 26 led to a small two-acre fire that was eventually contained by firefighters, The Durango Herald reported. Park operations were not affected by the fire.