LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) began an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the spring of 2018 for Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) and Wasatch Boulevard in partnership with Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service to provide an integrated transportation system that improves the reliability, mobility and safety for residents, visitors, and commuters who use S.R. 210.

Ultimately, the partners seek to deliver transportation options that meet the needs of the community while preserving the value of the Wasatch Mountains.

Draft EIS Public Comment Period and Hearings

UDOT has identified two preferred alternatives to improve transportation in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Draft EIS, the Enhanced Bus Service in Peak-Period Shoulder Lane as the alternative that best improves mobility and the Gondola Alternative B (base station from La Caille) as the alternative that best improves reliability.

In addition to the preliminary preferred alternatives, other elements have also been developed that would be combined to support each alternative. These include snow sheds (concrete structures built over the highway to keep it clear of snow in case of avalanches); mobility hubs (larger-capacity park-and-ride lots with transit service); widening and other improvements to Wasatch Boulevard; tolling or single occupancy restrictions; addressing trailhead parking and eliminating winter roadside parking above Snowbird Entry 1.

UDOT is holding a 70-day public comment period from June 25 – September 3, 2021 and held public hearings on July 13 and July 20, 2021.

Input sought by UDOT on the Draft EIS include comments on the preferred alternatives, the environmental impacts associated with each and other transportation performance considerations.

View Materials & Submit Comments

LCC Draft EIS Preferred Alternatives Overview - June 25, 2021
LCC EIS National Environmental Policy Act Process Video

PUBLIC HEARING INFORMATION

In-Person Public Hearing

July 13, 2021 4:30-8:30pm
Butler Middle School, Cottonwood Heights, UT

Little Cottonwood Draft EIS Public Hearing Recording - July 13, 2021

Virtual Public Hearing

July 20, 2021 6:00-8:30pm
Zoom Webinar

Little Cottonwood Draft EIS Public Hearing Recording - July 20, 2021

Hard Copies of the Draft EIS are Available for Review at the Following Locations:

  • Whitmore Library, 2197 Fort Union Boulevard, Cottonwood Heights
  • Anderson-Foothill Library at 1135 S 2100 E, Salt Lake City
  • Viridian West Jordan Library, 8030 S 1825 W, West Jordan
  • Cottonwood Heights City Building at 2277 Bengal Blvd, Cottonwood Heights
  • Utah Department of Transportation, 4501 South 2700 West, Salt Lake City

STUDY AREA MAP

STUDY PROCESS AND TIMELINE

Spring 2018
PUBLIC SCOPING
Open House – April 10, 2018
Public Comment Period – March 9: May 4, 2018
Spring 2018
Spring 2019
REVISED PUBLIC SCOPING
Open House – April 9, 2019
Public Comment Period – March 5 - June 14, 2019
Spring 2019
Summer 2019 to Spring 2020
DRAFT PURPOSE AND NEED AND ALTERNATIVE SCREENING CRITERIA
Public Meetings (virtual & in-person) – June 22 - 24, 2020
Public Comment Period – June 8 - July 10, 2020
Summer 2019 to Spring 2020
Summer 2020 to Spring 2021
ALTERNATIVES DEVELOPMENT AND REFINEMENT
Summer 2020 to Spring 2021
Summer 2021
DRAFT EIS
Public Open House & Hearing – July 13, 2021
Virtual Public Hearing – July 20, 2021
Public Comment Period – June 25 - September 3, 2021
Summer 2021
Winter 2021/2022
FINAL EIS/ROD
Public notification of release of Final EIS and ROD
Winter 2021/2022

CURRENT PHASE

DRAFT EIS

During the current public comment period for the Draft EIS, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has received requests to extend the length of the current review and comment period from 45 days, to either 60 days or 90 days. The public review period established by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for a Draft EIS is a minimum of 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. The Federal Highway Administration establishes a maximum 60-day comment period but does allow the lead agency (in this case, UDOT) to extend and exceed the comment period for good cause.

Based on the review of comments thus far and these considerations, UDOT has decided to extend the comment period to 70 days to allow for a more thorough review of the Draft EIS. The comment period will now end on Friday September 3, 2021.

UDOT has identified two preferred alternatives to improve transportation in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Draft EIS. In the Final EIS, UDOT will identify a single preferred alternative.

To identify the preferred alternatives, UDOT considered an alternative’s ability to substantially improve transportation-related safety, reliability, and mobility for all users on S.R. 210 from Fort Union Boulevard through the town of Alta. UDOT also considered an alternative’s environmental impacts, which includes water quality, air quality, and visual and noise impacts, among others. Based on the technical analysis conducted, UDOT identified the Enhanced Bus Service in Peak-Period Shoulder Lane as the alternative that best improves mobility and the Gondola Alternative B (base station from La Caille) as the alternative that best improves reliability.

The Enhanced Bus Service in Peak-Period Shoulder Lane alternative offers bus-only shoulder lanes on S.R. 210 to be used during peak travel times. With this alternative, bus service is removed from congestion and able to pass slower moving traffic in the general purpose lane, providing direct service to each destination. Those using the bus service would have the option of parking at either the gravel pit mobility hub (located at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon) or at 9400 S and Highland, with a bus departing every 5 minutes. Of the alternatives examined, this alternative offers the fastest travel time, the second lowest cost and when not in use, the shoulder lanes could become pedestrian and cyclist lanes.

The Gondola B alternative would construct a base station near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon (from La Caille) and offer direct service to each destination. Each gondola would hold up to 35 people and travelers could expect a cabin to arrive every two minutes. The Gondola base station includes 1,500 parking spaces, reducing the need for passengers to use bus service from the mobility hubs. The gondola alternative can operate independently of S.R. 210, avoiding delays related to snow removal, avalanche mitigation and traffic. This alternative has the highest visual impacts but low impacts to wildlife movement, climbing boulders and the watershed compared to the other action alternatives.

In addition to the preliminary preferred alternatives, other elements have also been developed that would be combined to support each alternative. These include snow sheds (concrete structures built over the highway to keep it clear of snow in case of avalanches); mobility hubs (larger-capacity park-and-ride lots with transit service); widening and other improvements to Wasatch Boulevard; tolling or single occupancy restrictions; addressing trailhead parking and eliminating winter roadside parking above Snowbird Entry 1. Additional information on the preferred alternatives and these elements can be reviewed in the Draft EIS section.

UDOT will seek public comment on the preferred alternatives, the environmental impacts associated with each, and the mobility and reliability considerations. By selecting two alternatives that differ in alignment, impacts, and mode; UDOT is providing the public an opportunity to review and comment on these two differing considerations.

As a reminder, commenting on the Draft EIS is not a vote on an alternative or action, but an opportunity to provide the project team with input regarding the environmental analysis or other considerations that UDOT should consider in making a final decision. View this video for more information on the NEPA process.

UDOT held a public open house and hearings to review the alternatives and answer questions during the open house portion. Recordings of the July 13 in-person public hearing and the July 20 virtual public hearing are posted on the top of the page and on the project Facebook Group and UDOT Cottonwoods Instagram feed.

SUBMIT COMMENTS

Public comment period open June 25 - September 3, 2021

UDOT is holding a public comment period with the release of the Draft EIS to receive public input on the preferred alternatives, the environmental impacts and other transportation performance considerations. Formal comments will be accepted through the form below, at the public hearings or by sending an email, voicemail or letter to the addresses found in the Contact Us section. UDOT’s responses to comments made during the formal Draft EIS comment period will be included in the Final EIS.

Commenting on the Draft EIS is not a vote on an alternative or action, but an opportunity to provide the project team with input regarding the environmental analysis or other considerations that UDOT should consider in making a final decision.

Comments provided to the project team will be reviewed and considered by UDOT as it develops the project. All comments received will be documented in the project record. The study team will contact you if they need additional information or clarification.

Comments provided during the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to UDOT are a matter of public record and subject to public release, if requested. For more information, see the Terms of Use at the bottom of the Utah.gov website.
Comments that are publicly displayed through online tools must follow our UDOT Social Media Policy Participant Code of Conduct. Comments that are unacceptable under that policy may be removed at the administrator’s discretion.
EIS Comment Form

CONTACT US

For more information on the transportation planning efforts underway on S.R. 210 and in Little Cottonwood Canyon or to share your ideas, please send the project team an email, give us a call or join the Facebook Group.

Write Us A Letter

Little Cottonwood Canyon EIS
c/o HDR
2825 E Cottonwood Parkway, Suite 200
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121