Logan Canyon US-89
Tentative Alternatives for the EIS
February 1987 Prepared by CH2M HILL
This fact sheet is the third in a series to inform the
public on the progress of the Logan Canyon study. The
previous fact sheets outlined the scope of the study and
reported the result of the transportation needs and traffic
volume projections. This fact sheet outlines the tentative
alternatives that are under study. It also provides the means
for the public to evaluate the progress of the study and
comment on important environmental issues and other
possible alternatives at the project scoping meetings on
March 3 and 4.
The development of alternative plans for the
improvement of U.S. Highway 89 through Logan Canyon
is dependent on the identification of feasible improvements.
"Improvements" refers to separate actions that can be taken
to improve the road, such as widening, straightening,
providing slow car pull-offs, etc. "Alternatives" are
combinations of improvements proposed to be applied in
specific locations that would result in a certain level of
improvement of the road. These alternatives and others that
may be suggested in the scheduled scoping meetings may be
evaluated for environmental impacts in the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A preferred
alternative will be selected in conjunction with preparation
of the draft EIS.
In the case of Highway 89 through Logan Canyon,
feasible improvements have generally been defined as (1)
actions that will correct problems identified in the previous
transportation needs study; (2) actions that will result in a
reasonable cost to benefit; and (3) actions that will not result
Prepared by CH2M HILL
in significant environmental impacts. Improvements that
are under study for application to U.S. 89 include:
- Widening the roadway, shoulders, recovery areas, and
ditches to normal Utah Department of Transportation
(UDOT) standards for minor arterials in mountainous
terrain, or to a modified (narrower) standard that
would be less disturbing to the environment of the
- Widening the roadway to provide passing lanes in all
possible or selected areas
- Improving the alignment (straightening curves) and
the road gradient (degree of slope) to increase the
minimum design speeds
- Developing all new road alignments and gradients
(Rich County) to 40 mph or 50 mph minimum
- Repairing existing major bridges
- Replacing major bridges
- Replacing small drainage structures
- Developing slow vehicle turnouts
- Improving signing and pavement markings
- Providing recreational parking
Each of these possible improvements was considered in
terms of the opportunities and constraints posed by the
existing road and Logan Canyon.
It has become obvious during the study of transportation
needs that the roadway consists of several sub-sections based
on the physical characteristics of the terrain. These sections,
as shown in Figure 1, are:
- Section L Middle Canyon--Right Fork to 1.8 miles
above Ricks Springs
- Section 2. Upper Canyon--I.8 miles above Ricks
Spring to Bear Lake Summit
- Section 3. Rich County--Bear Lake Summit to
In the analysis of improvements, certain improvements
were identified as more appropriate to certain sections of the
road than others. As a result, separate sets of alternatives
were developed for each of the three road sections. These are
summarized in Table 1.
Section 1. Middle Canyon
The Middle Canyon is environmentally the most
sensitive section of the project road. The narrow canyon
floor, confined by steep slopes and the Logan River, limits
the road improvements that can be made without substantial
effect on visual quality and other attributes. The range of
alternatives considered for this section is therefore limited to
more conservative improvements that provide limited
benefits to travelers, but that would protect the
environmental qualities that are currently appreciated in this
AI. No Action--Existing routine maintenance including
resurfacing would be continued. Repair of bridges and
improved signing and marking would be made.
Geometric constraints (road width) and winding
alignment would remain.
B1. Spot Improvements--Would include one or a
combination of the following: turning lanes at
intersections; slow vehicle turnouts; parking
improvements and selected curve modifications
where space is currently available; bridge replacement
in existing locations or on new alignment; climbing
lanes; and improved signing. Most geometric and
alignment constraints would continue to exist.
C1. Widening along existing alignment--The current road
would be widened to a standard that is narrower than
UDOT's standard for a minor arterial in mountainous
terrain. Figure 2 compares these two standards and the
existing roadway width. Additionally, climbing lanes
would be provided in selected areas (specifically in the
Dugway between lower and upper twin bridges);
gradient would be adjusted in selected areas; bridges
would be replaced on the existing or new alignment,
depending on each situation; and signing and marking
would be improved and new recreational parking
provided. This alternative would widen the roadway and
provide limited improvement to geometrics, but
alignment constraings would remain.
Dl. Widening and improving the existing alignment--In
addition to the widening and other improvements
included in Alternative C1, this would improve the
entire alignment of this section of roadway to a 35 to
40 mph minimum design speed. (This would be the
same design speed as the improved section of the
highway below Right Fork, which is designed to 40
mph standards with a few curves at a lower speed.)
Section 2. Upper Canyon
While the environmental quality is still considerable
and important in this section, it does not limit possible
improvements to the highway as much as in the Middle
Canyon. A smaller range of proposed alternatives are
therefore necessary for this section.
A2. No Action--The No Action alternative for this road
section would be the same as described for Section 1.
B2. Spot Improvements--The Spot Improvements
alternative for this road section would be the same as
described for road Section 1.
D2. Widen and improve existing align men t--Widening of
the road and bridges to UDOT standards for a minor
arterial road in mountianous terrain would be done for
the entire length of this section subject to
environmental constraints (see Figure 2). Climbing
lanes would be provided in all possible areas (mainly in
the upper portions of this section). The alignment and
gradient would be improved to 50 or 60 mph design
speed. Improved signing and marking and additional
recreation parking will be provided.
Section 3. Rich County
This section has fewer environmental constraints to
road improvement. The Sunrise campground and Bear Lake
viewpoint near the summit are important features to be
protected. The existing road is below standard in width, has
a number of curves that lower the design speed to 25 mph,
and has a steep gradient that also lowers the travel speed.
A3. No Action--The No Action alternative for this section
would be the same as for Sections 1 and 2.
B3. Spot Improvements--The Spot Improvements
alternative for this road section would be the same as
described for road Sections 1 and 2.
D3. Widen and Improve the Existing Alignment--The entire
route would be widened to UDOT standards for a minor
arterial in mountainous terrain (Figure 1). Climbing
lanes would be constructed for a majority of the length.
The horizontal and vertical alignment would be
straightened to a minimum design speed of 35 to 40
mph. Signing and marking would be improved, and
additional recreational parking provided.
F3. New Alignment--Two new alignments to the north of
the existing road have been identified. One of these
would be selected for a new route in this section. Road
width would be based on UDOT standards for minor
arterials in mountainous terrain (Figure 2). A climbing
lane would be provided for the entire length of the
route. Alignment and gradient would allow a
minimum design speed of 40 to 50 mph. Signing and
marking would be improved, and recreational parking
provided as needed.
03. New Alignment--A new alignment to the south of the
existing road for a portion of the route would be
selected. This route would exit the existing road below
the Bear Lake overlook and rejoin the existing road just
below the residential area. Alignment and gradient have
been identified that would a minimum design speed of
40 to 50 mph. Signing and marking would be
improved, and recreational parking provided as needed.
These alternatives plus any other feasible alternatives
resulting from the scoping meetings on March 3 and 4 may
be evaluated and compared in the EIS for the project.
Graphic illustrations of the specific location of proposed
curve improvements, new alignments, etc., will be presented
at the scoping meetings.
Questions may be directed to James Naegle, UDOT
(801) 965-4160 or to Clifford Forsgren, CH2M HILL (801) 363-0200.
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