Parties in Lawsuit Claim Little Cottonwood Traffic Solutions. Get More Updates.

Highway safety data indicates that since the beginning of 2024, 32 crashes, including a significant occurrence that occurred over the weekend, have occurred in the Little Cottonwood Canyon area. Due to continuing lawsuits challenging the Utah Department of Transportation’s decision to build a gondola, efforts to address the long-standing issue with canyon traffic have come to a standstill.

Parties in lawsuit claim Little Cottonwood traffic solutions

Parties in Lawsuit Claim Little Cottonwood Traffic Solutions:

The parties that filed a lawsuit against UDOT claimed that immediate action might be taken to ease traffic and reduce the annual number of collisions in the canyon. UDOT decided last summer that a Gondola would be the most effective way to remove cars from Little Cottonwood Canyon roads following a multi-year study on traffic in the area. UDOT asserts that the project has been put on hold while litigation challenging the decision is pending. “The litigation will take at least two years to conclude, and based on the funding site, it might take a further two years. Thus, it’s absurd that we’re discussing 2028,” lawyer Patrick Shea remarked.

According to Patrick Shea, who is the attorney for Friends of Alta in a lawsuit against UDOT, the Gondola Project is being undertaken in three stages. “We all have told Utah Department of Transportation that we want phase one to go ahead, as a safety measure and as a convenience measure,” Shea stated. According to him, the project’s initial phase, which calls for more bus services, is something everyone has agreed upon and isn’t anything that any lawsuits are requesting the courts to prevent while they are pending. According to a UDOT spokesman, the project must be completely stopped while the legal action is pending in two of the three lawsuits. Shea denied this assertion when questioned about it by 2News. He stated, “The truth is that they can proceed with phase one lawfully just as well.”

What did UDOT Responded?

In a written response to these allegations, UDOT stated: “This spring, we were going to start purchasing buses and constructing a mobility hub that would house 1,500 cars at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.” By winter 2025, this would have meant more bus service to be available. But in December 2023, three lawsuits were launched against the project, contesting the Record of Decision’s fundamental premises and requesting that the court overturn the ruling. In two of these lawsuits, the request was made to halt all future project activity. We are unable to implement any of the traffic improvements outlined in the Record of Decision until the lawsuit is settled.

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