Tanner Seigworth, KSL TV

Repairs from March earthquake underway at Great Salt Lake State Park

By Alex Cabrero, KSL TV | Posted - Nov. 18, 2020 at 10:16 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY – As a magnitude 2.5 aftershock hit Magna Wednesday afternoon, crews were working to fix damage from March's magnitude 5.7 earthquake along the entrance road to Great Salt Lake State Park.

KSL's Alex Cabrero was there and said he didn't feel anything as the aftershock hit but added that could be because of the heavy machinery fixing the road.

There are some days where Mother Nature has a lot to say at Great Salt Lake State Park. On Wednesday, it was about the wind.

"You're seeing a lot of dust. We're having some 40-50 mph gusts," said park manager Dave Shearer. "Earlier we had 70."

That's not too uncommon at Great Salt Lake State Park. However, the other sound that could be heard Wednesday was from construction vehicles.

They were at the park because of a noise eight months ago Shearer will never forget.

"This is the first earthquake I've actually heard where it was just really loud," said Shearer.

He was in his camper home at the park on that early March morning when Mother Nature decided to talk earthquake.

"We started going up and down really hard," he said. "Then at the final part of it, we felt the earth drop and move north."

Shearer said he has felt the earth shake before, but nothing like that one.

As a magnitude 2.5 aftershock hit Magna on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, crews were working to fix damage from March’s magnitude 5.7 earthquake along the entrance road to Great Salt Lake State Park. (Photo: Tanner Siegworth, KSL TV)

"It was pretty freaky," he said. "I've been in a lot of earthquakes here in Utah, and they've always been the sideways motion like this. Nothing ever like that before."

It turns out, the epicenter of that magnitude 5.7 earthquake was almost right under the park.

It left some cracks in the land, knocked over stuff at the visitor's center and confused a man sleeping in his boat in the marina.

"He said he was jostled around very hard with the waves that were inside the marina because of the earthquake," said Shearer.

Most of the damage, though, was to the entrance road.

"The road was in pretty good shape until the earthquake," said Shearer. "Two months ago, we started noticing a lot more failure. We've been told it's been getting colder and we're getting a lot more moisture that's causing the failures."

As a magnitude 2.5 aftershock hit Magna on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, crews were working to fix damage from March’s magnitude 5.7 earthquake along the entrance road to Great Salt Lake State Park. (Photo: Tanner Siegworth, KSL TV)

So starting this week and into next week, construction crews will be building a new road. People can still visit the park but might have to wait a minute or two to get by.

"Even though the road is sort of tore up, they are directing traffic and you can still get in here," said Shearer.

Great Salt Lake State Park is an interesting place to visit. It's where you can ponder time and enjoy plenty of natural beauty.

"Yup. It's great out here," said Shearer.

As long as Mother Nature maybe keeps things to herself a little bit.

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Alex Cabrero

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