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PROVO — Changes could be coming soon to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. In a meeting on Nov. 26, the Utah County Commission approved a concept plan to improve the area and make it safer.
The plan includes a walkway or stairway that connects the falls with an upper parking lot in the area, which would make it easier for people to pull off the U.S. Highway 189 and reach the falls from that parking lot. There would also be an on-site bathroom facility and additional open space for people to enjoy the falls.
Bicycle traffic would also be rerouted so it’s not on the same path as pedestrians at the falls, which Utah County Commission chairman Bill Lee said could help with congestion by the falls.
“The project will bring increased accessibility to the park, additional parking, trail enhancements, public restrooms, along with improved safety measures,” Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie wrote, in a Facebook post after the meeting concluded. “The entire project will be funded through the (Tourism, Recreation, Cultural and Convention Facilities) tax fund meaning no property tax or general fund obligations will pay for the park. It will be funded from the tax paid by hotel, restaurant and rental car patrons and users.”
The vote on Nov. 26 authorized the county’s public works department to implement the concept plan. However, Lee pointed out a final plan would still have to be approved before construction can begin.
“It’s a start for us, and that’s the point — to start on a process of doing something up there that makes sense,” he said, prior to the concept being approved by the commission. “There are some safety issues that we can move some things, or consolidate a few parking lots into one area, and do things so we don’t have traffic flowing through areas where we have pedestrians walking back and forth. There are some areas that can enhance what we’re trying to accomplish.”
The commission purchased land surrounding the waterfall from a private owner for $2.4 million in 2015, according to the Provo Daily Herald. During the Nov. 26 meeting, the commission noted that purchase was made to stop potential development in the area and preserve it for future generations.
“For me, this gets what we’re after at the falls,” Ivie said during the meeting. “We’re getting an enhancement that preserves the natural pristine of the falls and makes the falls a center focus, and gives people the opportunity to see that safely and enjoy it.”