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Federal engineers propose changes to Logan canal

Federal engineers propose changes to Logan canal



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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- Federal engineers are recommending changes to the Logan Northern Canal after a mudslide killed a mother and her two children in their home less than two weeks ago, focusing attention on the waterway.

The canal broke in the July 11 slide, and two plans drafted by federal engineers would see it either eliminated or rerouted.

Repairing and restoring the canal as it was is not an option because of the high groundwater in the area and the history of landslides, said Bronson Smart, an engineer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The first option would eliminate the canal, rerouting its water north to the Logan, Hyde Park, Smithfield Canal Co.

The other alternative would be to keep the canal largely intact but bypass the hillsides that gave way earlier this month by installing pipes under the road in a Logan neighborhood.

Smart said cities, engineers and others must agree on what plan to pursue. The USDA analysis was funded with a $400,000 earmark secured last week by Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett.

Smart said Logan Northern Canal officials have been briefed on the two options. Andrew Wright, an attorney for the Logan Northern Canal, said owners aren't yet sure what its future will be.

To eliminate the canal, the head gate and opening of the Smithfield Canal would have to be widened and improved. The rest of the Smithfield Canal would also be improved so it could take 250 cubic feet of water per second, up from the 110 cubic feet it currently takes, Smart said.

To continue using the Logan Northern Canal, Smart said construction crews would have to dig deep under Canyon Road to lay the water pipes, interrupting traffic and utilities in part of Logan.

The two options have not been discussed enough for city officials to have a preference, Logan city spokeswoman Teresa Harris said.

The July 11 slide killed 43-year-old Jacqueline Leavey and her children, 13-year-old Victor Alanis and 12-year-old Abbey Alanis. A funeral for the three was held Tuesday.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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