LINDON (ABC4 Utah News) -We built this city...on Utah Lake?
It could become a reality because a local development group is planning a massive conservation and construction project for the 95,000 acre freshwater lake in Utah County.
Utah Lake is shallow, windswept and full of pollution, algae and invasive fish and plants but a group of developers say they want to restore the lake by cleaning it up and turning it into a modern urban oasis in the middle of a desert lake but Project Director Todd Parker says it won't be cheap.
"At $6.4 billion dollars in conservation this would be the largest conservation project in the United States," Parker told News4Utah. "We're not asking for any public funds, the public can't bear that cost so this will all be borne by private investment."
That money will come from building homes, businesses and possibly high rises in a city on a 10,000 acre arch shaped island.
"Not just any city, it would be unlike anything that Utah has seen or even the United States," Parker said.
The two east-west bridges would cut the commute time from Orem to Saratoga Springs from about 30 minutes to about 10.
Parker says there would be several new islands with 64 percent dedicated to parks and recreation including:
-9 new marinas
-190 miles of new shoreline
-12 miles of new beaches with 6 miles of new sandy beaches and
-10,256 acres of new parks, open space, public access and waterways
But at least one outdoorsman is concerned.
"Make it more busy, more people, probably dirty the lake faster," duck hunter Casey Egbert said Tuesday. "Probably make it worse I think."
Like Rome, this is not going to be built in a day. It will take decades, starting with years of digging up the lake bottom to increase depth and form the islands.
"What we're going to see is about 5 to 8 years of dredging," Parker said. "Then 15 to 25 years of development so this is a very long term project. It will be done in phases."
If they get approval from the state government to move ahead with the project, the next steps are finishing the design and submitting a request for an Environmental Impact Study.
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