The National Park Services on Thursday will remove 1.4 acres of land in northern Utah to build a new highway, the first of its kind in the United States.
The 1.3-square-mile tract of sandstone near the state’s southern border is home to an archaeological site that dates back about 2,000 years, according to the National Park Foundation.
The tract of forest in the same area was used for logging for timber during the 19th century, according the foundation.
The land will be used for a proposed 1,100-foot-long (400-meter) highway that will cross a major waterway in the Uintah Basin, a major corridor for cattle, hay, and grain.
The highway will also run through the scenic Salt Lake City area.
“This is a historic location, and it will serve as an important tourist attraction for Utah, which has been impacted by the wildfires that have plagued the state,” NPS Director Michael Brune said in a statement.
The highway, named Route 2, is part of the $20 billion Utah-Arizona-Utah Highway project that is funded with a $1.3 billion federal grant.
It is expected to open in 2021.
The project is a major step toward a national road system, with about 1,600 miles of existing and proposed roadways already in place.
The Utah Department of Transportation said in December it would install toll booths on Route 2.