Salt Lake County along with West Valley City and South Salt Lake are creating a new park along the sides of the Jordan River from around 2100 South to approximately 3900 South. To gather innovative ideas they held a competition for possible designs for the park. WRF put together our resources and put in an entry. Although we did not win any of the possible prizes mainly because we did not have a comprehensive idea for the whole park our entry was well received and we will will continue to push our idea but change our presentation so that it concentrates on our idea of the RiverSports Center.
Some time ago I came across an incredible idea to put a 2,000m course on the edge of Salt Lake City and the thing that made it so brilliant was that it could actually work. It could even become a six lane course that could be used for National and International Races. Of course it would take money but nothing outlandish. The initial course would only be three lanes max.
By removing the old weir near the divergence of the Canal from the river at 2100South and building a new one further north this gives 2,000meters of an almost straight course. The New weir could be built higher but longer by building it at an angle, this would allow for the same water flow over the weir into the canal even more at high water conditions.
The Riversports Center would be located at the end of 2320South on the West side of the Jordan River if we or the county could by the land just north of 2320 that would give us ample room and a great location. Our design is a comprehensive and inclusive building that contains many if not all aspect of a boathouse, rental center for canoe's and Stand up Paddle boards as well as a community center and gathering place. We also feel the inclusion of facilities for a cafe for refreshments would be a great asset.
Initially we envision a quick fix for the river to make it more usable by fixing the sluices on the weir and raising the weir height so that the debris under Highway 201 can be removed without lowering the water level further upstream.
The river has a tendency to silt up and the county is required to dredge the river occasionally by the Corps of Engineers. We suggest to potentially the reduce cost of dredging that an automatic silt collection system be installed in the river bed. By putting in a half pipe in the river bed and putting it at an angle to the flow this would create system that would shunt the silt along the half pipe and deposit it into a collection pond at the downstream end of the pipe at the Mill Creek Confluence which could be easily accessed and emptied quickly and cheaply on a regular basis without disturbing the riverbed.
This would give us a 2,000m stretch of river with a number of bends for various water activities upstream of the weir which would be Canoeing, Kayaking and Stand up Paddle Boards and some Rowing. We envision a space where Canoes, Kayaks and SUP's can be rented also the possibility of personal craft being used. Rowing in the Salt Lake area currently comprises of three clubs, Great Salt Lake Rowing, open to adults, Utah Crew, open to juniors and Waterford Crew, open to Waterford pupils.
For the construction of the 2,000m course primarily for rowing the biggest project after the installation of new weir and removal of the old weir would be changing the rail bridge at 1700 South into a single span if not the completely removing it and redirecting trains to an alternative crossing point. With the completion of the course we also envision the University of Utah starting a rowing team as the majority of the members of the PAC 12 also row.
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