CEO Message: Update on Utah Lake Bridge

We had a great turnout today for the update on the proposed bridge crossing Utah Lake. Mr. Leon Harward presented a status report on his project and showed numerous slides on the design and how the eventual construction will take place; this is quite the project.

The Utah County Association of REALTORS® previously submitted a letter in support of the proposal, and we are again drafting a letter in support of the Transportation Commission’s proposed rules and guidelines for any applicant who proposes the construction of a highway facility over sovereign lakebed lands.

While we support a rigorous review of the proposal—it is vital for the public that our resources be protected—we also support that once all due diligence is completed, that the application be approved. Put in other words, once the review is complete, we hope the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands (FFSL) will be able to move forward promptly—without getting caught in political obstacles—to approve the proposal and complete the lease agreement. When a project clears all reasonable questions of feasibility, design, and potential impacts, the decision should not be delayed. We don’t support residential or commercial ventures getting hung up in local government’s red tape, and it is time to stop talking about potential environmental considerations and economic impacts and allow the Commission and FFSL to move forward.

Our letter will express support for the Commission’s draft rules; they have the experience in determining whether a proposed plan is financially viable, including if sufficient bonding or other financial assurances are in place to cover construction, operation, and maintenance of the facility. The Division of FFSL was not prepared to assess these questions, and so they will now be free to thoroughly analyze the application to lease state lands.

We are confident that a complete and thorough review by the Commission and the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands will eventually yield a decision in support of the proposal because the bridge is in the current long-range plans for the valley, and this proposal meets design and engineering standards and has a strong construction, operation, and maintenance plan.

Additional information can be found at www.utahcrossing.com

To review the draft rules and leave a comment visit: http://www.ffsl.utah.gov/sovlands/utahlake/bridgecrossing.php

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