PLEASANT GROVE — An environmental assessment hearing Thursday is another step toward building a trail to serve hikers and equestrian enthusiasts over the Provo Canal once it is covered, Utah Department of Transportation documents say.

Utah County and several cities, including Orem, Lindon, Pleasant Grove, Lehi, American Fork, Cedar Hills and Highland, are involved in building the trail where motorized vehicles will be banned.

Once approved, the more than 14-mile trail would begin at 800 East in Orem and stretch to state Route 92 in Lehi, passing through the other cities.

The hearing is from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Pleasant Grove Junior High, 810 N. 100 East. The National Environmental Policy Act requires the assessment, which must also comply with Council on Environmental Quality regulations.

The Provo River Water Users Association owns the canal and is proposing to enclose it from the Murdock Diversion in Provo Canyon to the Point of the Mountain, 21.5 miles, of which the trail is to cover part of it.

The cities involved and the county would build the trail with federal highway funds, along with money from the cities and county. The estimated cost is $14,687.

Both a paved surface for bicyclists and hikers and a softer trail for joggers and horses are planned.

Once completed, Utah County and the municipalities would maintain it, while the Provo water users would continue to take care of the canal, documents say.

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