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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- A list of alternatives for a massive canal reconstruction project in Cache Valley has been narrowed to three.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will study the three proposed options in an environmental impact statement. The goal is to restore irrigation water to shareholders impacted by last year's fatal landslide and canal breach in Logan.
The July 2009 disaster above Logan's Canyon Road killed a mother and her two children.
We feel that the three options presented here will give us the best opportunity to restore water delivery.
One option being considered is reconstructing the Logan Northern Canal on its "historic alignment" using a box culvert or a pipe.
Logan Public Works Director Mark Nielsen told The Herald Journal that the proposal would use a new conduit, preventing water from flowing through the existing concrete-lined canal.
That option, however, doesn't eliminate the risk of a future landslide, Nielsen said. If the option is selected, work would need to be done to address slope stability, he said.
"I wouldn't say the hillside is currently unstable. We know there are areas that can still slide up above the canal; I mean, they've happened for 150 years. So nobody has done anything to eliminate that possibility yet," Nielsen said.
County Executive Lynn Lemon also expressed concern over the stability of the hillside near Canyon Road.
"I don't want to say that we would never support it," Lemon said of the option. "I think I'd really need to look at the engineering, but I'd have some major concerns."
A second proposal under consideration would redirect water from Logan Northern Canal into the Logan, Hyde Park, Smithfield Canal just beneath Second Dam.
The final alternative calls for the combined canal waters to be carried in a box culvert or pipe in the Logan, Hyde Park, Smithfield Canal alignment to about 3100 North in North Logan. From here, the water would be piped west.
In a document released by NRCS, conservation engineer Bronson Smart said selection of the three options was based on information collected by the agency and from public comments submitted through July.
"We looked at a number of different options during the scoping period," Smart said. "We feel that the three options presented here will give us the best opportunity to restore water delivery."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)