SALT LAKE CITY

No blasting at abandoned Raging Waters park after pushback from nearby residents

Feb 23, 2022, 6:22 PM | Updated: 7:22 pm
(The remains of the wave pool at Raging Waters.  City officials say concrete is six feet thick in p...
(The remains of the wave pool at Raging Waters. City officials say concrete is six feet thick in portions of the park, like this. Photo: Paul Nelson, February 23, 2022)
(The remains of the wave pool at Raging Waters. City officials say concrete is six feet thick in portions of the park, like this. Photo: Paul Nelson, February 23, 2022)

SALT LAKE CITY — People living near the abandoned Raging Waters/Seven Peaks theme park are breathing a bit easier after the city scrapped plans to use high explosives during their demolition project.  Crews will go back to using slower methods, but officials don’t think this will slow the project down, overall.

Potentially earth shaking blasts

The concrete in parts of the old park were thicker than some city workers anticipated. Some patches are as much as six feet thick.  Demolition crews can use excavators and jackhammers to clear it out, but that could take a very long time.  City officials decided to use explosives to cut through the concrete, and these would not have been small blasts.  The University of Utah Seismograph Stations tweeted a warning that people in Glendale could feel the earth shake beneath them.

“Heads up Glendale. Possible human caused shaking to start Wednesday, Feb. 23, and occur during the daytime for a few weeks,” it stated.

Some families living within a block of the park didn’t think they would have a problem with the noise. 

One woman told KSL, “Whatever work has to be done to start the work for the park, that’s fine with us.”

However, other families were especially concerned about the possible trembling.  A mother living roughly a block away says her special needs children had panic attacks when the Magna earthquake hit in 2020. She was worried the shaking would frighten them, again.

Strong opposition to the blasting at Raging Waters

City workers say many Glendale residents pushed back on the blasting plans. So, they decided to scrap that strategy on the day it was supposed to start.

Nancy Monteith with Public Services said, “We’ll continue with the methods that we are using now, like jackhammering and other methods that are a little bit slower.”

Even if demolition of the park takes longer than crews hoped for, Monteith says this won’t slow the progress of the new regional park the city plans to build.  She says they haven’t completed their designs on the 17-acre site near the Jordan River, yet.  They want to turn it into a regional attraction since it is so close to other parks and a golf course.

“We’re quite aways out from construction. So, slowing it down with the demo is not going to harm our overall schedule, at all,” she said.

(Portions of waterslides that have already been taken down at Raging Waters. City officials hope the can repurpose some slides for other uses. Photo: Paul Nelson, February 23, 2022)

Currently, they’re still accepting suggestions from Glendale residents. And they’re working with consultants on how they could implement all of the incoming ideas.  Monteith says some of the best suggestions came from middle school students who were asked what they wanted to the park to have.

She said, “We had such a range of ideas from pollinator gardens to skate parks, food trucks to getting in the river with canoes.”

The city will make at least two concept plans and share them with the public in March.  They’re planning a public event at the Glendale Community Learning Center for March 16.

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No blasting at abandoned Raging Waters park after pushback from nearby residents