Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

Rocky Mountain Power Wildfire Mitigation Project

Rocky Mountain Power

Wildfire Mitigation Project


Phase 3 (Kay Rees Park into East City Creek; across I Street Bike Park and Meadow Trail; up across BST Valleyview, 19th Ave, Avenues Ridge Trail, Terrace Hills access trails; down west Perry’s Hollow Ridge; across Chandler to 11th Avenue ) of the RMP Wildfire Mitigation Project is scheduled for fall and winter 2024. Construction access will occur from Kay Rees Park, 18th Avenue Trailhead, Terrace Hills West and East, and from Chandler Drive. Significant trail closures will occur and will be communicated via signage, this website, and social media.

For questions or concerns regarding this project, please contact Rocky Mountain Power project managers:

Full Project Description

In April 2022, SLC Public Lands was made aware of the Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) Wildfire Mitigation Project, with Phase 1 on the University of Utah and US Forest Service property between lower Dry Creek Canyon east of the JCC, and Red Butte Canyon Road occurring in May – June 2022 (See Phase I specifics in the dropdown below). As the other three phases are primarily on SLC property, the Public Lands & Public Utilities Departments coordinated the City’s legal and real estate teams to create specifics processes and requirements for Rocky Mountain Power’s construction plan to minimize environmental disturbance on City open space parcels so not to repeat the damage and disruption that occurred from Phase 1. 

Since December 2022, the City has been in extensive planning and preparation with Rocky Mountain Power (see drop down below for details).

Phase 2 ran from N. 11th Avenue through Popperton and into the Dry Creek Retention Basin and for 6 weeks in summer 2023.

Phase 3 is estimated to commence in fall 2024 and last 4 months. Significant trail closures in the East City Creek & Upper Avenues areas – including temporary closures of the I Street Bike Park, the Meadow Trail, and 18th Avenue Trailhead – will occur throughout the project and RMP will work with SLC Public Lands on multiple communication strategies (signage, online information, social media) to alert the community of closures and detours.

Phase 2: Power poles were replaced with access cut through South Popperton open space. Land and trail restoration is included as part of the project.
Phase 3: Major construction will be occurring in 2024 in the Upper Avenues Foothills utilizing heavy machinery including bulldozers, cranes, and helicopters. Active restoration of disturbed lands and trails is included as part of the project. SLC Public Lands will also initiate restoration land and trail projects in conjunction with the RMP project including the restoration of the trenches dug in 2021.

Phase 4 (Warm Springs Park, 500 North, Memory Grove) is scheduled to occur in 2025.

Phase 2: Popperton to Dry Creek Retention Basin (June - September 2023)

August 7 – 20

Phase II map: yellow pins represent poles. Trail closures are expected for machinery access.
  • SOUTH POPPERTON TRAILS ARE SCHEDULED TO BE CLOSED WED – THU AUG 16-17 to remove and replace power pole 8 (in SW corner of South Popperton by Alta/Fairfax access).
  • Full completion of the Phase II (Popperton) project is expected for August 30.

July 31-August 6

  • POSSIBLE DELAYS AND PERMISSION TO PASS ON BST DRY CREEK – POPPERTON CONNECTOR PATH as poles 16 and 19 below Federal Pointe are completed this week.
  • A crane is needed for pole 2 which will require a traffic control plan on Virginia Street above 11th Avenue.
  • Due to a design change, poles 6 – 8 (west fence of South Popperton along Shriner’s Hospital) have been fire-wrapped and will be replaced in the winter or spring when materials are sourced.

July 24 – 30

  • Poles 11 – 20 are scheduled to be serviced this week.
  • Temporary access road to Pole 19 to be constructed 7/28-7/29.

July 17 – 23

  • Poles 9, – 12 & 14 are scheduled to be serviced this week.
  • Trees at the eastern end of the South Popperton Bike Loop will be trimmed up to 14′ this week to allow for clearance of trucks on South Popperton Walking Path, between poles 9 and 10.

July 12 – 16

Poles 5, 6, 7, and 15 are scheduled to be serviced. South Popperton Bike Loop, Walking Path, and Access Path are all subject to be closed. Vehicular delays could occur on Popperton Park Way.

Phase 2 & 3 Planning (December - June 2023 2022)

In coordination meetings throughout the winter and spring, the City has required that RMP complete the following:

  • Provide the City with multiple access route options, including use of spider hoes or helicopters when needed to limit impact. Document methods used, relevant data, and alternate drafts to justify desired access routes. The City must approve, in advance, the access routes and the equipment and machinery being used to ensure it’s the most appropriate for specific locations.
  • Upon RMP’s hiring of a subcontractor, provide the City with detailed site maps and defined boundaries of staging areas where equipment and supplies will need to be stored at trailheads and in work areas.
  • Hire an independent, City-approved construction supervisor for project implementation, trail restoration, and landscape rehabilitation and revegetation.
  • Create a detailed construction plan with schedules and timelines so that the City can coordinate its own projects in the area and plan to close trails and trailheads accordingly. The construction plan must include a detailed revegetation plan including timelines.
  • Assure that professionally made signage is designed and installed, at RMP’s expense, in coordination with Public Lands staff to safely guide trail users around the Project.

Due to environmental and logistical factors, the Phase 4 project from the Cemetery to the University was bumped up to become Phase 2 as it should only take 4-5 weeks and can inform strategies to be used in the higher Foothills.

Phase 1 Restoration: Dry Creek Canyon to Red Butte Canyon (July - Deceber 2022)

In July, SLC Public Lands and Public Utilities conducted a post-construction site visit to prepare for conversations with RMP for Phases 2, 3, and 4 on SLC property.

From August through October, Public Lands initiated the coordination of a full rehabilitation and revegetation plan with the University and RMP, including the creation of temporary signage for trail wayfinding around areas closed for vegetation regrowth.


The RMP subcontractor completed the rehabilitation and revegetation efforts in November 2022 to maximize regrowth efforts timed with winter snowfall and installied the wayfinding signage in early December. 

Signage placed in restoration areas

Phase 1: Dry Creek Canyon to Red Butte Canyon (May 23- June 17, 2022)

On May 19, RMP contacted SLC Public Lands to inform them of trail closures the following week as the construction equipment would be using the BST and other legacy trails to access the poles. Public Lands posted on social media on May 20: 

Rocky Mountain Power and its subcontractor Wasatch Electric will be replacing their wooden power line poles with metal ones for wildfire mitigation as part of their public safety efforts between Red Butte Canyon and Dry Creek Canyon from May 23 – June 10. The BST, Medical Campus Trail, and various other user trails will be subject to detours during this time period. There will be 1-2 days there may be trail closures for public safety as well. Exact dates of trail closures will be announced on these channels. 

The construction ran through June 17 and created extensive damage to the trails and to the adjacent open space, widening trails and cuttings access roads up to 30’-40’ wide in some areas. Construction debris left trails impassable in certain areas. The construction and access plan was not provided to the City (as this is not SLC property), but SLC Public Lands was brought in to consult with the University on the rehabilitation efforts. RMP’s subcontractor returned in late June to make the trails safe and usable.


Power Pole Replacement Project Map

1) Medical to Research Project:

  • Dry Creek to Red Butte Canyon Road
  • Work began in summer 2022 and trail maintenance and landscape rehabilitation and reseeding finished in November 2022.

2) Northeast to Medical:

  • North Virginia & 11th Ave to Dry Creek
  • Scheduled for July – September 2023

3) North Bench to Northeast Project:

  • 14th Ave & G to 1200 – 11th Ave)
  • Scheduled for fall 2024 – winter 2024

4) Capitol to North Bench:

  • Warm Springs Park to 14th Ave & G
  • Scheduled for 2025


SLC Public Lands Recreational Trails Manager