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In an effort to preserve the pavement in Emigration Canyon, Salt Lake County and Emigration Canyon Metro Township will rehabilitate the asphalt on Emigration Canyon Road, from the Emigration Township line on the west to SR-65 on the east. This project began on June 15, and will continue through mid-September 2020.


This rehabilitation project will also include some drainage improvements and adjustments to striping for bike lanes, where existing roadway width allows, to improve safety in the canyon. One-way flagging operations will be in place intermittently throughout construction. Moderate delays are expected so motorists are advised to plan their travel times accordingly. If an alternate route is available for your destination, please plan to take it and help reduce congestion through the work zone.


For questions or concerns, please contact the project team at 877-495-4240 or via email to



Project work began June 15 and will continue for approximately 90 days. While we understand this is a popular time for recreational use of the canyon, unfortunately it is also the time when this type of project needs to be done. Contractors must pay very close attention to asphalt, ambient, and ground temperatures during paving. Once the asphalt is placed, the contractor must move quickly to compact the asphalt before it cools too much. If the asphalt loses too much heat, it will be more difficult or impossible to achieve the compaction necessary to ensure a long life and a smooth ride. This becomes even more important in a canyon where temperatures can vary dramatically from one location to another throughout the day.

UPDATE: 07/31/2020


Emigration Canyon is closed to recreational cyclists at all times, as well as to through-traffic during work hours only. Local traffic will still be permitted.

Update for Cyclists:

There is no new information for cyclists this week, but we are including last week's update again for those who may have missed it.


On July 16, the Emigration Canyon Township held their council meeting and addressed the safety merits of 11-foot travel lanes, as well as discussed the comments from cyclists who frequently enjoy riding the canyon. The Township Council voted in favor of striping the canyon with 11-foot travel lanes, rather than the originally planned 12-foot travel lanes. As a result, there will be more room in the bike lanes and shoulders for cyclists. 


Additionally, crews plan to begin the process to raise utilities back up to street level - requiring steel plates in the road over the newly poured concrete - during the week of August 10. Following this work, there is the possibility of opening portions of the canyon up to recreational cyclists on 

Sundays, starting as early as August 16. We will continue to provide updated information about this option as the project progresses to that date, and will confirm or update cyclist access information via our email updates and on our project website.

Upcoming Work Activities:

  • Asphalt removal through the canyon is now complete.

  • Asphalt paving continues through the canyon, and is expected to be completed by Sunday, August 9.

  • Throughout the week of August 10, crews will be raising utilities in the roadway back up to street level. During this work, motorists should expect steel plates in the roadway, to cover the newly poured concrete collars around manholes during the necessary cure time. 

  • During the week of August 10, striping activities will resume as crews continue to place roadway striping on the newly placed asphalt. Crews will also be working in the shoulders of the roadway during the same week.

  • Rocky Mountain Power is now installing an underground power line near the Little Mountain Summit, requiring trenches in the roadway. This activity is unrelated to our project but is taking place concurrently. Rocky Mountain Power expects to complete their work by the end of this week.

*Schedule is subject to change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances.

Traffic Alerts:

  • Residential motorists should expect uneven lanes, lane shifts, steel plates in the roadway, and one-way flagging operations throughout the canyon during work hours, Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Moderate delays are expected so residents are advised to plan their travel times accordingly. If an alternate route is available for your destination, please plan to take it and help reduce congestion through the work zone.

  • The canyon is closed to through-traffic during work hours. Local traffic access will still be permitted.



  • Please reduce speeds and stay alert as you approach the work zone, to ensure the safety of the flaggers directing traffic. Please exercise caution and stay alert while driving through construction zones.

  • Area residents should expect increased noise, dust, and vibration associated with construction.



Notice to Cyclists/Skaters:

Due to the one-way traffic necessitated by this project, Emigration Canyon will be CLOSED to recreational cyclists and skaters during construction. With one lane inaccessible, the road is not wide enough to safely accommodate both motor vehicles and bicycles/skaters. Safety is the number one priority of our team, and the decision was made to close the canyon to recreational cyclists and skaters in order to prevent accidents. We apologize for the inconvenience. Suggested alternate routes include:

  • City Creek Canyon (5.7 miles to the top)

  • Wasatch Boulevard Out-and-Back (16 miles round trip)

  • Millcreek Canyon from Wasatch Boulevard (18 mile round trip)

  • Wasatch Boulevard to Big Cottonwood Canyon (39 miles round trip)

  • Wasatch Boulevard to Little Cottonwood Canyon (35 miles round trip)

For more information about cycling routes, visit:

Notice to Residents:

Construction will be limited to daylight hours Monday through Friday. Some weekend work may be required and we will post updates when that happens. Be aware that increased noise, dust, vibration, and congestion will occur during construction so please be patient. However, if you have concerns please contact either Jed Parker, Project Engineer, at or call the project hotline at 877-495-4240.

Residents who commute to work via bicycle will not be stopped from continuing to do so if there is no other option available to them. However, bicycle commuters should be aware that this route will be hazardous once construction begins and will not provide the same roadway conditions they are used to. We cannot guarantee a bike-friendly work zone and warn that you will be entering the area at your own risk.

Notice to Pedestrians/Runners:

There are no sidewalks along the project corridor, so pedestrians could still walk or run along the shoulders of the road out of the way of traffic. Narrow shoulders, heavy equipment, debris, and other hazards are likely to exist within the work zone. While we discourage these activities during construction, please be extra cautious and attentive if you plan to walk or run in the canyon.


Response to Cycling Community Comments:

Our project team would like to sincerely thank those members of the Cycling Community who have reached out to provide their thoughts and suggestions on the planned closure of Emigration Canyon.


First of all, please understand that this decision was not taken lightly. Many options were discussed, but the final decision came down to one of safety. As many of you know, the canyon is very narrow. When the contractor closes one lane for work and establishes a safe work zone, the remaining lane, which will require flagging, in most locations may be less than 11 feet wide including any shoulder. That is too narrow to safely support a bicycle and a vehicle. On evenings and weekends there will very likely be open milled surfaces with a 2+ inch drop from the roadway surface. Vehicles have very little problem navigating those conditions. For cyclists it would be very dangerous.


There are a few other things you need to know about the project that will help with understanding our decision:

  • First of all, the pavement in the canyon is in terrible condition. We have estimated significant areas that require what we call soft spot repair (places where the pavement and sub-material must be completely removed and re-installed, essentially reconstructing sections of the shoulder or roadway, which takes significantly more time). 

  • Second, there are several areas where the contractor will be adjusting the profile (slope) of the road in order to improve drainage, 

  • Finally, crews will be replacing a 24-inch storm drain pipe that will cut across the entire roadway at one location.  

The contractor is allowed to have two work zones (up to two miles each) active at any given time so they can replace the pipe or get out ahead of the soft spot repair while they remove and replace the asphalt in another area. We gave the contractor this latitude in an attempt to get the project completed as quickly as possible.


Asphalt paving requires temperatures of 65 degrees and rising, so putting the project off until late-fall or winter is not an option. This project entails about 90-days of asphalt work, so construction must take place during the summer – particularly in a canyon where temperatures tend to cool more quickly.


The project will be constructed in segments so there may be the possibility of keeping some of the canyon open to cyclists, but it needs to be segmented in a way that makes sense for all parties. We need to take all factors into consideration when looking at the segments. There

is no parking available in the canyon to allow segments that start and end within the canyon. We also need to give the contractor flexibility in doing the work so that everything can be completed this year. However, we may be able to consider the following: 

  • Keep the East end open for cycling (from SR-65 to the turnoff to Pinecrest/Killyon's Canyon) while crews work on the West end (mouth of the canyon to the turnoff to Pinecrest/Killyon's Canyon). When the West section is complete, we could open it for cycling while they complete the work on the East end. The order of work could also be reversed.


This option is being discussed between the Mayor and the contractor.


We know that the loss of the opportunity to use this extremely popular cycling route for the summer is a huge inconvenience, but also know that once it is complete it will be a safe and more comfortable ride on the new pavement for many years to come.




The Emigration Canyon Rehabilitation Team


Benefits to Cyclists Once the Project is Complete:

Concerning the new striping, here is the planned layout:  

From the Emigration Township line (near Rotary Glen Park) to the Fire Station (5025 E. Emigration Canyon Road) in the eastbound, uphill direction, there will be a five (5) foot bike lane.


From the Emigration Township line (near Rotary Glen Park) to the Fire Station (5025 E. Emigration Canyon Road) in the westbound, downhill direction, it will remain “Share the Road.” 


Between the Fire Station and the turnoff to Pinecrest/Killyon's Canyon, it will remain “Share the Road." There is insufficient room through that section to stripe for new bike lanes.  


Between the turnoff to Pinecrest/Killyon's Canyon and the Little Mountain Summit, there will be five (5) foot bike lanes on both sides of the road. 


From the Little Mountain Summit to SR-65, once again it will be “Share the Road” because of how narrow the road is.  

We very much wanted to expand the bike lanes through the entire canyon, but the  project simply was not funded to be able to add the width necessary to support additional bike lanes.

We know that the loss of the opportunity to use this extremely popular cycling route for the summer is a huge inconvenience, but also know that once it is complete it will be a safe and more comfortable ride on the new pavement for many years to come.






Misty Slopes


Emigration Canyon Transportation Study, last updated in 2016 .

Emigration Canyon Roadway Improvement Committee (ECRIC) Report, last updated in 2014. Note: Because of many required repairs to drainage and to the roadway, there was not enough budget in this project to implement all of the improvements referenced in the study.

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Joe Smolka  | 

Jennifer Hawkes  |

David Brems  |

Gary Bowen  |

Catherine Harris  |

Emigration  Canyon Metro Township  |  5025 E Emigration Canyon Road