UDOT Wants Public Input On Final Alternatives For Little Cottonwood Canyon

Jun 25, 2021, 5:15 PM | Updated: 9:00 pm

SALT LAKE COUNTY — Next winter, on a beautiful powder day, traffic in Little Cottonwood Canyon will come to a crawl as skiers and snowboarders head to the resorts.

The Utah Department of Transportation started looking for long-term traffic solutions three years ago, and on Friday, released two preferred alternatives for the public to comment on. 

Anybody who spends time up Little Cottonwood Canyon is eager for less congestion during peak times on State Route 210. The public can now help UDOT choose between a bus ride in a dedicated lane or a gondola ride soaring above the road. 

“There is a ton of passion for this canyon,” said UDOT Project Manager Josh Van Jura. 

That’s why Van Jura said he moved here 25 years ago. He thinks it’s also the reason they received more than 6,500 comments on the transportation alternatives they shared with the public last fall.

“Just the passion that everybody has for this very special place that is so close to the city,” he said. 

UDOT narrowed the transportation alternatives on SR-210 from five to two on Friday and released the draft environmental impact statement, which contains the analysis of environmental impact. 

“Air quality, water quality, noise, environmental justice, and roughly 20 other criteria,” said Van Jura. 

The purpose and need for the project is to significantly improve the safety, mobility and reliability of transportation up to Snowbird and Alta. 

“Two of those (transportation alternatives) really stood above the other three,” the project manager said. 

(Used by permission, UDOT) Little Cottonwood Canyon (Chopper 5, KSL TV)

The Enhanced Bus Service in Peak-Period Shoulder Lane, with a rider time of 36 minutes, excelled in the mobility category. 

“There’s a bus that leaves every five minutes, so it’s frequent,” he said. “You don’t have that fear of missing the next one.” 

It also has the fastest travel time when the roads are dry. 

“In this scenario, there may be times when buses are actually passing passenger cars,” Van Jura said.

That may even encourage more travelers to get out of their cars and get on the bus, he pointed out. 

Gondola B, with a base station at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon near La Caille, excelled in the reliability category because it wasn’t slowed by crashes and snow delays on the road. But Van Jura said it takes 20 minutes longer to get from your car to the resorts riding the gondola. 

“Gondolas just don’t go as fast as cars do, but again, they provide that extra alignment reliability,” he said. 

The gondola costs more to build than the enhanced bus service but less to operate, according to Van Jura, because it only runs during snow season. Over 30 years, they would cost taxpayers about the same.

“Those are our preferred alternatives, and we’re excited to get that out on the street and start our 45-day public comment period,” the project manager said. 

That comment period started Friday and there will be two public hearings in July. UDOT plans to have a final decision sometime during the winter season.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Jhon Alvaro-Alarcon Paredes, 20, is accused of shooting a teenager in a McDonald's parking lot in U...

Mary Culbertson

‘Wanted fugitive’: McDonald’s shooting suspect in custody after fleeing to Colorado

A man is in custody in Colorado after he allegedly shot a teenager in the parking lot of a Utah McDonald's and then fled the scene.

3 minutes ago

Beds prepared for visitors at William A. Burnard Warming Center as a Code Blue is in effect....

Mike Anderson

Logan Warming Center prepares for homeless community after Code Blue alert

A Logan warming center is asking for more volunteers and resources as the area is hit by another Code Blue warning.

6 minutes ago

Dallin Cunningham, 8, who died from his injuries after falling off a slide at Rose Springs Elementa...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Family of boy who died falling from playground slide sues school district

The parents of an 8-year-old boy who died a year ago after falling off a school playground slide during recess have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school district.

55 minutes ago

PeeDee, the puppy found by Price City police officers and is being trained as a Critical Incident E...

Michael Houck

Abandoned puppy undergoes training as a Price City emotional support dog

An abandoned puppy found by a Price City police officer is now being trained as an emotional support dog for the department.

1 hour ago

An undated photo of the Gunlock State Park waterfalls. The waterfalls are expected to return this s...

Eliza Pace

Gunlock waterfalls are flowing again

Like an oasis in the desert, the Gunlock waterfalls have returned. 

1 hour ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Eliza Pace

Got tumbleweeds? People might be willing to buy them

Several cities around Utah faced an Armageddon of tumbleweeds including Eagle Mountain, Daybreak, South Jordan, and Grantsville.  However, despite the challenge, residents of these cities may be sitting on their next business opportunity. 

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

UDOT Wants Public Input On Final Alternatives For Little Cottonwood Canyon