Logan Canyon to get cell service

Jul 7, 2023, 8:20 PM | Updated: Jul 8, 2023, 6:42 pm

LOGAN, Utah — Plans are now underway to get cell towers in Logan Canyon. In all, about $21 million have been secured to make it happen.

This is a combination of federal funding and an ongoing Utah Department of Transportation project. Phase two is one million in federal transportation dollars. Phase three is $20 million of Treasury CPF broadband funds.

It’s a big move to get emergency help faster. As we’ve seen many times before, accidents in Logan Canyon can be minor, life-threatening, or deadly. Either way, time is crucial.

“Normally when someone, if there’s an accident, they have to come down to the bottom. They can’t even call 911 before emergency services get dispatched,” said Jason Winn, Deputy Fire Chief and Marshal for the Cache County Fire District. He said they see it with nearly every accident.

Now, that’s about to change.

“Depending on where you are in the canyon,  you’re going to improve your response times by 20 to 30 minutes,” Winn said.

First responders now know things will improve.

“There’s a thing called the golden hour, that if you can get somebody to emergency medical care within an hour after a traumatic accident, that their chances of survival go way up,” said David Zook.

He’s the Cache County Executive and along with state legislators and UDOT, he’s been working over the past two years to secure plans and funding for cell service in the canyon.

“With the river there, with the winter conditions, with two lanes of travel – one each direction we have unfortunately a lot of accidents in the canyon throughout the year, especially in wintertime,” Zook said.

The plan starts with fiber optic cable. There’s already a line from Garden City to Peter Sinks that will be extended several miles further. Another stretch of cable will be added between Utah State University and the first dam.

Zook said, “I think everybody notices as soon as their cell phone doesn’t work anymore.”

He said that extra level of security will be huge. Talks are already underway on where the towers could end up. The installation will come with a later phase of the project.

“This will be a huge public safety improvement,” Zook added.

UDOT’s main objective with the fiber optic cable is to install cameras, traffic monitoring, and more signs so they can alert drivers quickly of any changing conditions or closures.

Phase two of the project begins this summer with work on the fiber optic cable.

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Logan Canyon to get cell service