PROVO — The city is expanding its cemetery thanks to a local contractor who had about 72,000 cubic yards of dirt.

The contractor needed to excavate the dirt from the new Life Sciences building construction at BYU. The cemetery at 610 S. State needed the soil.

The Parks and Recreation Department suggested an exchange, and the soil that was a problem for the contractor became the answer for the cemetery, saving Provo taxpayers approximately $900,000.

“The solution to their problem was our gain,” said Provo Parks Division director Doug Robins. “This soil is now being placed and compacted as part of the first phase of the expansion project.”

1 comment on this story

The project will add eight more acres to the west of the existing cemetery, which is nearing capacity. Opened in 1853, the cemetery has 37,000 plots on its 45 acres, with fewer than 1,376 plots left for sale. In less than three years, the expansion will need to be ready for use.

Robins said that the expansion project will take time as the land must be leveled to a rough grade, then prepared with service connections, roads, an irrigation system, top soil, and turf, then finally improved with landscaping.

When finished, the expansion should serve the city’s needs for another 30 years.