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Study of U.S. Highway through Logan Canyon project introduction


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Study of U.S. Highway through Logan Canyon project introduction


Project introduction of the study of U.S. Highway 89 through Logan Canyon by the Utah Department of Transportation.





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Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives, COLL MSS 133 Box 10, Folder 10

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View the inventory for this collection at: http://uda-db.orbiscascade.org/findaid/ark:/80444/xv07669


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Highway 89 Digital Collections




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PROJECT INTRODUCTION STUDY OF U.S. HIGHWAY 89 THROUGH LOGAN CANYON UTAH DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PURPOSE The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has the responsibility of maintaining all state and federal highways in a condition that will allow safe transportation. A number of specific sites along U.S. Highway 89 in Logan Canyon have been identified by UDOT as requiring repair in the near future to provide safe transportation in the Canyon. Much of the highway in the Canyon lies within the Cache National Forest, which is administered by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) who must approve all work on the road beyond routine maintenance. As a result of these currently needed repairs and other perceived problems, UDOT and USFS have agreed that an overall transportation plan for the Canyon is necessary and that a comprehensive study of the possible problems and needed repairs/improvements should be conducted rather than examining each site independently as major problems occur. To begin, UDOT selected CH2M HILL, a consulting firm of Engineers, Planners, Economists, and Scientists with offices in Salt Lake City and other communities throughout the country to conduct the study. Valley Engineering, Inc. of Logan is a major subcontractor. This study has three major objectives: o To identify locations on the road where problems in safety, maintenance, road design, and capacity occur, and to document these problems. o To propose several alternative means, through repair or improvements, to correct the problems. o To conduct an analysis of the potential impacts of the proposed alternatives on the environment. BACKGROUND This portion of U.S. 89 has been under scrutiny by UDOT for some time because of congestion, accidents, and maintenance problems. The highway has been on UDOT's schedule for improvement since the late 1950s. In 1961, improvements were made to the road between Logan and DeWitt Springs. In 1969, the section between DeWitt Springs and Right Hand Fork was improved. Pre-design work on improvements between Right Hand Fork and Ricks Springs was completed in late 1968, but following passage of the National Environmental Policy Act 1 (NEPA) in 1969, local concern showed the necessity to reevaluate the project. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) determined in 1972 that an environmental impact statement (EIS) would be required for the project in accordance with NEPA. At this time, the project consisted of improvements to the road that would result in a 4-lane highway. Considerable study of the project intended to conclude in a draft EIS continued until April 1979. The original 4-lane highway concept was discarded for one that would widen the pavement from the existing 22 feet to 34 feet, provide a 5-foot cut ditch, and raise the design speed from 35 to 40 miles per hour. As a result of that change, the FHWA reclassified the project to require only an environmental assessment rather than a full EIS. Again, local concern (involving the environmental community), over the reclassification of the project resulted in the FHWA revising its decision and requiring a full EIS for the project. Changes to NEPA adopted by Congress in 1977 resulted in revision of all federal agency guidelines for the preparation of EIS. UDOT therefore suspended work on the EIS in 1980 to await the new directives, and is now reactivating the process. DESCRIPTION OF STUDY The first task is to analyze travel constraints in the Canyon, including safety, maintenance costs, points of substandard design, and congestion. Accident reports will be reviewed in an attempt to determine the cause, and accident rates will be compared with those of comparable roads in the state. Locations with abnormally high maintenance costs will be evaluated. This analysis will include calculation of permile costs for the entire length of road, identification of specific sites of unusually high costs, and comparison of these costs with statewide road maintenance costs. Highway segments where the road geometrics may be inadequate for the overall design speed will be inventoried and assessed. Finally, the degree and occurrence of congestion on the road will be determined by identifying the road capacity and evaluating current traffic volumes. The level of service that can be provided on the existing highway in year 2010, with expected traffic increases, will be projected. A report will be prepared explaining the findings of this part of the study. The second task will be to prepare a transportation plan for the corridor, including up to six alternative concepts. The alternatives will consider specific repairs or improvement plans for sites where problems have been identified including spot improvements, resurfacing, new signing, reconstruction along the existing alignment, and widening of the existing 2 roadway between Right-Hand Fork and Garden City. Such widening might include slow-moving vehicle lanes, passing lanes, or minor alignment changes. From Bear Lake Summit to Garden City, the plan will consider the location of two totally new, alternative routes, one to the north of the existing road and one to the south. Each alternative will be evaluated in terms of costs and benefits, including construction costs, reduction of travel time, vehicle and road maintenance costs, safety, aesthetics, and recreational factors. General environmental trade-offs and a comparison of engineering requirements for each alternative will also be incorporated into the technical report prepared upon com-pletion of this study task. Major geologic features of the study corridor will be identified and a geotechnical analysis conducted. A description of engineering conditions of the soils and geology as they relate to possible construction and maintenance problems will result from the analysis. Northern Engineering and Testing of Salt Lake City is a subcontractor to CH2M HILL for the geotechnical work. An environmental analysis will then be conducted. A full environmental impact statement may ultimately be required. The environmental analysis will include participation of interest groups, agencies, and the general public to identify major issues to be investigated in the analysis. The analysis will be based on literature review and field studies and will identify possible impacts of each project alternative and suggest mitigation measures. SCHEDULE Work on the project began in June and is expected to be completed by June 1987, with the possible exception of some public participation activities and completing the environmental analysis. A study task schedule for major work in each task is provided below. Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 Task 4 Analysis of Transportation Need Started early June 1986; complete August 1986 Location Studies/Transportation Plan Begin early August 1986; complete late November 1986 Geotechnical Considerations Begin early September 1986; complete late October 1986 Public Involvement To be conducted throughout study duration 3 Task 5 Coordination To be conducted throughout study duration Task 6 Environmental Analysis Started June 1986; complete late January 1987 Task 7 Preparation of Documents Begin early January 1987; complete late May 1987 PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT/AGENCY COORDINATION A public involvement plan based upon project milestones will be implemented during the study. In addition to the program proposed for each study milestone, the following activities will occur continuously throughout the study: o Maintenance of a Mailing List - all individuals an~ interest groups requesting mailings will be included on this list (list available upon request) o Local Study Liaison - Valley Engineering, Inc. in Logan will maintain copies of all informational material on the study in its Logan office, and will answer or refer questions to the appropriate person. CH2M HILL will also perform this service in its Salt Lake City office o Local repositories for study materials will be arranged at the Logan Public Library, Utah State University Library, Garden City Municipal Offices, and Salt Lake City Public Library. All informational materials will also be available at Wasatch/ Cache National Forest offices in Ogden and at the Utah Department of Transportation offices in Salt Lake City MILESTONE 1 - BEGINNING OF PROJECT o Study Organization and Data Gathering and the analysis of transportation needs began in early June 1986. o Interdisciplinary Team Organization - an interdisciplinary team which includes representatives from UDOT, USPS, FHWA, the environmental community and CH2M HILL was organized in June 1986. o Press Release to be submitted to all media included on mailing list - week of July 28, 1986. 4 o Project Introduction - a detailed written explanation of the history of this study, the reasons for conducting this study, and the tasks to be conducted, will be mailed to all groups/individuals included on the mailing list - week of July 28, 1986. MILESTONE 2 - COMPLETION OF TRANSPORTATION NEEDS ANALYSIS The analysis and conclusions of this study should be close to completion by mid August 1986. o Press Release to be submitted to all media included on mailing list - late August 1986. o Summary Report of Findings/Fact Sheet will be mailed to all groups/individuals on mailing list - late August 1986. o Town Meeting to discuss findings and answer questions, to be held in Logan - early September 1986. o Meetings With Interest Groups as requested - following town meeting - early September 1986. o Written Summary of activities, response, and issues will be prepared upon completion of åáthe second phase of the public involvement program - late September 1986. MILESTONE 3 - COMPLETION OF ALTERNATIVES DEVELOPMENT (Prior to environmental impact analysis) - This should occur near the end of November. o Press Release giving brief review of study findings to date, explaining proposed alternatives, and reviewing the proposed scoping activities will be submitted to all media on the mailing list - late November 1986. o Fact Sheet giving detailed explanation of each alternative with graphic illustration, explanation of level of service provided by each, and general advantages and disadvantages, will be sent to each entry on mailing list - late November 1986. o Meetings With Interest/Service Groups expressing strong interest in the study will be held during December to discuss the alternatives and identify their concerns. A maximum of four such meeting are planned, and as a result some groups might be requested to meet together. Groups that request such a meeting might include: 5 Sierra Club Utah Wilderness Association Bridgerland Audubon Society Rich-Cache Tourist Council Cache County Chamber of Commerce Bear River Association of Governments Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau Cache Economic Development Council Civic/Service Clubs o Town Meeting will be held in Logan to summarize alternatives, report on concerns voiced by groups/ individuals, receive testimony on other concerns. Issues to be addressed in environmental analysis will be summarized - early January 1987. o Press Release reviewing scoping process activities and issues to be studied in environmental analysis will be submitted to all media included on mailing list - mid January 1987. o Written Summary of all public involvement activities, response, and issues will be prepared after the activities of this phase have been conducted - late January 1987. MILESTONE 4 - COMPLETION OF DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENT This milestone will occur approximately May 29, 1986. o Videotape explaining the alternatives and discussing the environmental tradeoffs will be developed prior to Milestone 4 to be presented during this stage - Months of February and March 1987. o Summary Report reviewing findings of the draft analysis will be mailed to all groups/individuals included on mailing list - early June 1987. o Press Release reporting findings of environmental analysis and schedule for public input/hearings to be submitted to all media listed in mailing list - early June 1987. o Workshop Meeting to present videotape, discuss environmental analysis findings, allow questions and answers - Logan, late June 1987. o Public Hearing to present videotape and receive testimony on draft environmental analysis - Logan, July 1987; possible hearing in Ogden or Salt Lake City, July 1987. Written testimony will be accepted for 30 days after last hearing. 6 o Written Summary of all public involvement activities, response, and issues will be prepared after the activities of Phase 4 have been conducted - August 1987. All aspects of the public involvement program will remain flexible since it must be responsive to the conduct of the project and the needs of the community. Public involvement activities will be announced in all press releases. Public agencies indicating interest in the study will be included in the public involvement activities. In addition to the U.S. Forest Service and Federal Highway Administration, other public agencies that will be involved in the study include the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Bureau of Air Quality, Bureau of Water Quality, Geological and Mineral Survey, and Division of State History. STUDY ORGANIZATION In addition to personnel from CH2M HILL and Valley Engineering, Inc., an interdisciplinary team has been established to provide input and recommendations throughout the course of the study. Study team members are listed below. Team Leader Commission Representative Highway Preconstruction Engineer Environmental Engineer Transportation Planning Recreation Geotechnical Public Involvement Representativea of the Environmental Community 7 Stan Nuffer CH2M HILL Todd Weston Utah Dept. of Transportation Lynn Zollinger Utah Dept. of Transportation John Neil Utah Dept. of Transportation Stan Nuffer CH2M HILL Fred Labar USFS, Logan Allan Stilley Northern Engineering & Testing Sheldon Barker CH2M HILL Jack Spence Sierra Club Landscape Architecture Fisheries Biologist Ex-Officio Clark Ostergaard Wasatch/Cache Nat'l. Forest Mark Shaw Wasatch/Cache Nat'l. Forest Duncan Silver FHWA aAlternate Environmental Sierra Club Community Representatives: Utah Wilderness Association Bridgerland Audubon Assoc. Unattached Rudy Lukez Torn Lyon Steve. Flint Bill Helm QUESTIONS Contact: SLC79/d.402 8 Stan Nuffer Sheldon Barker Cliff Forsgren CH2M HILL, Salt Lake City (801) 363-0200 Gale Larson Valley Engineering Inc., Logan (801) 753-0153