Two Bountiful-area trails to close temporarily

Jun 8 2011 - 11:14pm

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FARMINGTON -- Two south Davis County trails will close temporarily to the public while the Kern River Gas Transmission Company adds a section of its $374 million dual natural gas pipeline project known as the Apex Expansion Project.

Officials from Kern River, based out of Salt Lake City, shared that information with the Davis County Commission at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

The trails to close are the Kenny Creek Trail and the Mueller Park Trail, both in the Bountiful area, said Douglas Gibbons, manager of land and environment for the company.

The trails are scheduled to reopen in September, he said.

"We know there will be some inconvenience for the recreational," Gibbons said.

The 28-mile pipeline expansion will run from the East Canyon Reservoir to Salt Lake City International Airport and is being built to increase system capacity.

Kern River's existing 1,680-mile pipeline system runs from Opal, Wyo., to Daggett, Calif. In 2003, Kern River built a parallel (looped) pipeline along most of its existing mainline, with a section of pipeline through the Wasatch Mountains north of Salt Lake City not being looped until now.

The company also has created a temporary alternate route for a stretch of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail along Davis County's East Bench to ensure safety for the public while the work is being completed, Gibbons said.

"At Kern River, our top priority is to make sure the public and our workers are safe," he said.

By restricting access to those trails, the company will restrict the public from crossing the project right of way, Gibbons said.

Commissioner Louenda Downs said she is a great protector of the county's trail system, but after having many conversations with Kern River officials and walking the trails following the pipeline project, she sees the company as professional and accommodating.

On Oct. 1, 2010, Kern River began construction on the pipeline being routed through the Wasatch Mountains in Morgan, Davis and Salt Lake counties, Gibbons said.

The pipeline, which runs parallel to an existing 36-inch pipeline owned by Kern River to minimize its environmental impact, is expected to be operational by November, Gibbons said.

Kern River is also committed to protecting and restoring the pipeline right of way and other temporary work spaces during and after the construction, officials said.

"We want to make it better than what it was previously," Gibbons said of the restoration work the company has planned for the Davis mountains.

"We plan to revegetate, mimicking what was there before."

Gibbons said the company will spend millions of dollars in hillside restoration to cover visible environmental impacts.

The project will increase system capacity by 12 percent and will meet the delivery demand for natural gas to Nevada and Southern California, said Christopher A. Bias, Kern River project manager.

Kern River, in operation since 1992, will monitor the pipeline around the clock using computer, telecommunications and satellite technology, Bias said.

The project includes construction of a compressor station near Milford, and modifications to existing compressor stations Elberta and Fillmore, southwest Wyoming and northeast of Las Vegas.

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