UTAH COUNTY -- After nearly a year of being closed, Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon is reopening Friday morning.
The reservoir closed in June 2016 for a $7.3 million rehabilitation project. The construction brought the reservoir up to engineering and safety standards, plus added a lot more water.
“We basically doubled the amount of water that was there before construction, so now we have basically 21-acre surface area of water," said Norm Evenstad, a Water Resource Coordinator for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The reservoir used to be around 10 acres. The infrastructure was also enhanced to better withstand flooding.
Evenstad added there are a few small craft corridors where you can put in kayaks and paddle boards, which will be easier than it was pre-construction.
Russell Hanson, a Ranger in the Pleasant Grove District, said it's becoming a popular spot.
“This is a gem," Hanson said. "It’s right in our back yard. At one time, it was a secret. It’s no longer a secret. We get 1.9 million visits a year, and that’s a lot to contend with."
Hanson said the more, the merrier. He just hopes people will remember to stay safe and stay away from the swift river.
“We’re asking people to use great judgment," he said. "Not good judgment. Great judgment, ‘cause the water flows can take you under very quickly."
For that reason alone, Evenstad said the reservoir is a great alternative.
"It’s quiet water," he said. "You can put your paddle board in and it’s safe for kids, fishing. So it’s a great weekend to get up there and enjoy it.”
Another option is Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. It has been closed for construction, which is not yet completed, but parts are reopening to the public solely for access during Memorial Day weekend.