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SALT LAKE CITY — Public land crews are once again dealing with erosion by the mouth of City Creek Canyon. But city officials say this instance and erosion that was identified in September are unrelated.
Bonneville Boulevard is set to be closed between City Creek Canyon and East Capitol Boulevard as crews work to fix a portion of the road, according to Salt Lake City deputy engineer Mark Stephens. He said crews have been at the site of a slide near the road for weeks but the closure is currently planned to begin Tuesday, weather-permitting. Recent colder temperatures have delayed crews from being able to repave the road, he added.
The closure, which is expected to remain in place into the first week of December, will apply to vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Once it begins, the road will temporarily become a two-way street for vehicles traveling between B Street/11th Avenue and the entrance to City Creek Canyon until repairs are completed.
The boulevard is popular for drivers, runners and bicyclists alike. It's typically a one-way street for motorists, who can drive from the Avenues neighborhood to the Utah Capitol and connect onto Victory Road, which can lead them to I-15, or turn north toward Ensign Peak. The other side of the road is usually reserved for people who walk, run or ride their bicycles through the area. In addition to City Creek Canyon that's located in between, there are various trails and a path to Memory Grove in the area.
But heavy rains last month led to erosion to a section of the road that's now closed off. The city's transportation department tweeted that rains between Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 "washed out" a part of the road in the area. It also eroded a portion of the new Lower City Creek Loop trail.
It's not the first time that the area has dealt with erosion this year. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced in September that the city would pause the next phase of its foothill trails project after erosion issues with the first phase, which were trails that run above, beneath and even cross Bonneville Boulevard. Construction of the paths began in 2020 and was completed earlier this year.
Residents brought up the issue to the city prior to the mayor's decision. One resident said he was "disturbed and saddened" with how the first phase went, pointing to the erosion issues that emerged. Mendenhall added at the time that independent consultants were being brought in to review the plan.
City officials said Thursday they don't believe the erosion incidents are related, though. They said the most recent land erosion began at the road and not at the new trail, even though the trail was impacted.
The repairs currently underway aim to "improve drainage and help prevent future erosion," city officials added.
"Bonneville Boulevard is one of the most used and beloved roads for runners, cyclists and families in the city, and we know the public is eager to see it fully reopened," Stephen said, in a statement. "These improvements will not only repair what was damaged but will help prevent erosion in the future so this beautiful area can continue to be enjoyed by the public."