Cecret Lake trail in Little Cottonwood closed as repairs are made to dam

The popular Cecret Lake Trail in Alta will be closed for the next month as officials make repairs to its dam. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Daisy Blake

ALTA, Utah, Sept. 25, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The popular Cecret Lake Trail in Alta will be closed for the next month as officials make repairs to the dam.

“The aging Cecret Lake dam, located in Albion Basin of Little Cottonwood Canyon, will be repaired over the next 30 days by the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities,” said a news release from the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office.

The department maintains the dam as part of its water supply and watershed management, the news release said. The first phase of construction started on Monday. The Cecret Lake Trail will be closed from the trailhead to the Albion Basin Campground to allow for heavy equipment access and to protect public safety. Completion is expected by the last week of October.

The iconic earthen dam was built in the 1920s, and is showing its age, the news release said.

“The dam has deteriorated to the point where we must make these repairs before winter,” said Laura Briefer, Director of Salt Lake City Public Utilities. “The dam repair will protect public health and safety, and ensure water can continue to be stored in the reservoir in the future.”

The dam update must meet modern state construction codes. Concrete and grout will be used, and crews will take strict precautions to keep uncured concrete from the waters of the riparian area. The concrete structure will be covered with earth when completed.

The reservoir currently drains to the natural lake, below the outlet of the dam. The dam will be 12 feet wide, and repairs will not change the level of the lake. There are no fish in the lake, and crews will use best environmental practices to maintain and support the surroundings.

The dam will need to be partially excavated around the outlet works, the news release said. Large machinery will often be present and portable generators, drills, saws and pumps will create temporary noise.

Following repairs, crews will fully restore and revegetate the area surrounding the dam.


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