Copies of a supplemental environmental impact statement for Provo Canyon will be distributed next month to officials and groups interested in the canyon's future, Utah Department of Transportation officials say.
Phil Fredrickson, UDOT environmental specialist, told members of the Provo Canyon Parkway Committee during their monthly meeting that people would have 30 to 45 days to peruse the document before public hearings in August.The hearings, in Provo and Heber, will give people an opportunity to tell state officials how they feel about proposed changes on a 30-mile stretch of U.S. 189 from the mouth of the canyon to U.S. 40 south of Heber. Public comments will be incorporated in the impact statement, after which the state Transportation Commission and Federal Highway Administration will recommend one of four alternatives that will govern Provo Canyon highway development.
The alternatives were developed over the past year by the consulting firm of Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendorf in conjunction with UDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.
Fredrickson said Provo Canyon Citizens Participation Committee members, appointed by the consulting firm, have recommended a multiuse alternative, which would be a four-lane divided highway designed to accommodate traffic traveling 50 mph and would depart somewhat from the highway's existing alignment.
Other development alternatives under consideration are include maintaining the highway as is; improving accessibility but keeping the highway at two lanes; or building a four-lane divided highway along a new alignment, allowing higher speeds.