The Municipal Council voted to support state officials in making modifications to U.S. 89 in Logan Canyon after Councilman Fred Duersch Jr. said his survey showed overwhelming support for some improvement.
Duersch told the council Friday that he did the survey to assess public opinion because "I felt that assumptions by some groups that a majority of residents oppose any extensive modifications to the highway were wrong."He said he personally talked with 208 of the 3,722 residents who voted in the 1987 municipal election and admitted his survey was unscientific. However, he said he met with specialists at Utah State University and "they helped with eliminating bias and fine-tuning the survey."
In answering his questions, 89 percent said they favored straightening some curves in the middle section of the canyon, 92 percent favored selected passing lanes, 88 percent wanted scenic turnouts and 97 percent believed existing bridges should be replaced with wider ones.
He said the only question that was "even close" was one asking whether the course of the Logan River should be changed for highway modifications.
"On this one, 55 percent said that would be all right, but 45 percent said it would not," he said.
Duersch said 93 percent told him they believed highway modifications can be made without destroying the canyon's beauty and without causing permanent environmental damage.
He said no one surveyed had attended scoping meetings held by the Utah Department of Transportation.
After the presentation, the council voted unanimously to support UDOT in making modifications the department believes are necessary.