Utah Lake State Park closure to remove decades of trouble for boaters

Feb 6, 2018, 2:55 PM | Updated: 11:59 pm
Crews dredge Utah Lake State Park marina...
Crews dredge Utah Lake State Park marina

PROVO — The gate is locked and the sign reads “closed” at Utah Lake State Park. The park’s closure is necessary to provide construction crews room to clear decades of silt buildup in the marina.

Over the next several weeks, crews will remove than 56,000-cubic-yards of silt from the marina.

“It is piling up in the marina, and it is making it so there is not enough water for the larger boats that need to get out on the lake,” said Eugene Swalberg, with the Utah State Division of Parks and Recreation.

In recent years, the low water level in the lake has made it impossible to launch a boat from the Provo marina, ending the boating season at the state park, usually by September.

“There is a lot of lake and it is a great place to recreate if you can get your boat out on there,” said Swalberg.

In December, crews built a temporary dam at the end of the channel. For a week, they pumped out millions of gallons of water, exposing the bottom of the marina. Now, through digging, crews aim to deepen the entire marina and channel by two feet.

“It is basically mud. It is silty clay material and is still saturated as it comes out and still flows like water,” said Bill Gammell, the project manager, for contractor Geneva Rock.

While most construction crews welcome this warm weather, the unfrozen ground is complicating this particular project.

“If our trackhoes were to go out there without any fill, they would literally sink,” Gammell said. “We are having to build four feet of engineered fill to be able to get out there and clean it up.”

Crews dredge Utah Lake State Park marina

State lawmakers appropriated $1.5 million in 2015 to revitalize the marina. Work is on schedule to be finished by the end of April, in time for boaters to hit the water.

“We are excited about it,” added Swalberg. “This is a great opportunity for us at state parks and it is great opportunity to get out on Utah Lake. It is such a wonderful resource.”

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Utah Lake State Park closure to remove decades of trouble for boaters