LOCAL NEWS

Group opposed to Little Cottonwood gondola project files lawsuit

Dec 4, 2023, 8:51 PM | Updated: Dec 5, 2023, 12:45 pm

A Gondola Works sign that has graffiti on it in is pictured near Little Cottonwood Canyon on Wednes...

A Gondola Works sign that has graffiti on it in is pictured near Little Cottonwood Canyon on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A group opposing the Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola project has filed a lawsuit, citing environmental concerns.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in district court by organizations such as Friends of Alta and International Outdoor Recreation Asset Alliance to stop the Utah Department of Transportation project.

“We hope the lawsuit will induce a pause while additional analysis is performed, providing legislators time to review the over $1 billion cost of the gondola project,” said Craig Heimark, a spokesman for the plaintiffs.

Utahns react to gondola decision for Little Cottonwood Canyon transit solution

The plaintiffs claim Little Cottonwood Canyon would be “irreparably damaged by a hasty decision focused only on traffic congestion rather than on protecting the interests of all Utah citizens and canyon users.”

With the lawsuit, Heimark said they expect it will create time for Utah lawmakers to other cheaper solutions.

The plaintiffs suggest several other options. Those solutions include:

  • Returning public bus service to at least the levels of 2019.
  • Testing the effectiveness of electric bus technology and service to satisfy
    demand.
  • Making advance reserved parking required.
  • Ensuring the mandatory traction laws for LCC are enforced from November 1 to May 1.
  • Testing selected lane closures for private vehicles during peak traffic hours; to reduce the transit time of buses and micro-transit vehicles;
  • Promote carpooling by installing tolling infrastructure.
  • Compare the cost and effectiveness of modern Remote Control Avalanche
    equipment to the proposed installation of snow sheds.

The plaintiffs will be holding a news conference on Tuesday at 3 p.m. to discuss this lawsuit further.

On Tuesday, UDOT issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

“We are currently in the process of reviewing the challenge to the Little Cottonwood Canyon EIS Record of Decision and cannot comment on specifics of the litigation.

“In coordination with our agency partners, we have been working toward implementation of Phase 1 in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Phase 1 includes improved & increased bus service along with a mobility hub, resort bus stops and tolling. Phases 2 and 3 are currently unfunded.

“Our goal is to have Phase 1 bus service operational by the 25/26 ski season but implementation may be delayed due to the legal challenge.

“At this time, we do not know the full impact the legal challenge will have on our implementation of improvements such as bus service and tolling. We will continue to assess potential schedule impacts to Phase 1 as we work through the legal process.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

An apartment went up in flames in West Valley City on July 14, 2024. (Scott Winterton, Deseret News...

Mark Jones

West Valley City apartment fire displaces 30 people; no injuries reported

A large fire has displaced 30 people following a West Valley City apartment fire on Sunday, according to the West Valley City Fire Department.

41 minutes ago

Boyd Matheson follows the latest details after an attempted assassination was made on former Presid...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: The attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump

Boyd Matheson sits down for a special episode of Sunday Edition following the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump.

4 hours ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins Sunday Edition to discuss the International Olympic Comm...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: Mayor Erin Mendenhall

On the originally scheduled Sunday Edition, SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins the show to discuss the 2034 Olympics and downtown revitalization plans.

7 hours ago

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated s...

Brittany Tait

Utah’s newest Greek Orthodox Church ready to welcome worshippers

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated sacred space in the valley.  

20 hours ago

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger Distr...

Mark Jones

A new fire near Flaming Gorge Reservoir ignites Saturday

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger District, south of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

20 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campai...

Mark Jones

Utah leaders react to assassination attempt at Trump rally in Pennsylvania

Former President Donald Trump was rushed off a stage at a Pennsylvania rally Saturday by U.S Secret Service agents after apparent gunshots were heard in the crowd.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Group opposed to Little Cottonwood gondola project files lawsuit