State highway that runs through the Grand Canyon will close

GRAND CANYON, AZ - The state highway that runs through the Grand Canyon is closing Thursday morning after visitors disregarded the park closure.

Residents of Grand Canyon Village still will have access to State Route 64.

The Grand Canyon is among hundreds of 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 says the remaining staff has an obligation to protect the resources and to ensure safety.

She says 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 outside the park's South Rim entrance.

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