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Video simulation shows gondola proposal for Little Cottonwood Canyon

Posted at 10:40 AM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 12:40:38-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — The group hoping to build a gondola system to alleviate traffic in Little Cottonwood Canyon shared a video Tuesday showing how the proposal would work.

Gondola Works, which is a coalition made up of up of businesses, canyon users and stakeholders, says its system would "eliminate as many as 1,400 vehicles an hour" headed up to ski resorts on S.R. 210.

Last week, the Utah Department of Transportation announced the gondola and designated bus lanes were the preferred alternatives to help reduce congestion in the canyon over the next 30 years.

Estimated to cost up to $592 million, the gondola would reportedly whisk passengers to Snowbird and Alta ski resorts in just over 30 minutes. A parking garage at the La Caille Station at the bottom of the canyon would hold up to 1,800 vehicles, while also providing food, shops and lockers for visitors.

In addition, the group claims a gondola would produce 300% less CO2 than buses and "decrease in-canyon carbon emissions by as much as 56%."

Gondola Works says each of its cars would hold 32 passengers and provide heated seats, phone charges and WiFi.

The group says one of the benefits to the gondola is that it would continue to operate in the event of an avalanche or traffic tie-ups on the road below.

While the price tag for the gondola proposal seems high at just over half a billion dollars, the cost of an enhanced bus system would cost nearly the same at $510 million.

UDOT says it will hold an in-person public hearing to discuss the proposals on July 13, with the winning proposal to be announced in the winter.