Salt Lake, Sandy file lawsuit against UDOT’s Little Cottonwood decision on gondola
Dec 11, 2023, 4:51 PM | Updated: Dec 12, 2023, 10:17 am
(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — The city governments of Salt Lake City and Sandy have filed a lawsuit, alleging that the Utah Department of Transportation did not look at the environmental impacts when the department issued an EIS* Record of Decision in favor of building a gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
The cities’ respective water districts are also joining in the lawsuit against the transportation plan that includes a gondola.
The cities allege that UDOT did not “address the water resource and other environmental impacts of several proposed transportation improvements approved for implementation in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.”
The cities say they are especially concerned about the project’s impact on drinking water.
A separate lawsuit was filed last week by two non-profit organizations. They claimed that UDOT exceeded its authority and “failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act,” when the agency approved an EIS* Record of Decision in favor of building a gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
UDOT responds to second lawsuit against transportation plan that includes gondola
In a statement, UDOT spokesman John Gleason said the agency is aware of the new legal challenge. But he did not comment further.
Gleason also said UDOT will “continue to assess potential schedule impacts to Phase 1 as we work through the legal process.”
What happens next?
KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas said this will likely pause the portion of the UDOT project that includes the gondola.
“I can very well see a judge issuing a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction on the project until these studies can be done,” Skordas told KSL NewsRadio.
The cities are also concerned about proposed road-widening and parking lot projects in Little Cottonwood.
This story is developing and will be updated.
- UDOT chooses gondola for Little Cottonwood Canyon
- 2034 Olympics won’t impact approval of gondola, says Mayor Wilson
- Salt Lake County Mayor: Little Cottonwood gondola is bad for the Olympics
- Utah lawmakers react to Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola announcement
* Environmental Impact Statement