Saturday, November 19, 2011

Draper City (Utah) Trying to Combat Erosion From the Jordan River

Several years ago, erosion from the Jordan River washed out the dirt under a short section of the Parkway trail on the Draper City side of the river. The river had actually washed out dirt under the asphalt of the trail. The trail was closed to traffic and a temporary path was made around the damaged area. That path was eventually paved and became a permanent part of the Parkway.

A couple of weeks ago, I walked to the edge of the river and looked at the area that had been washed out. Additional erosion had taken place, and I thought the trail would need repair.

During my Wednesday run of last week, I found out that the section of the trail had been blocked to traffic for a distance of about 20-30 feet. The Parks department of Draper City had finally become aware of the damage to the ground under the Parkway. I assume repairs of some kind will be made. Similar erosion in South Jordan City has taken place in past years, and South Jordan elected to line the river bank in appropriate places with large rocks. It's too bad that Draper City didn't do that several years ago. It will be interesting to see what solution the engineers at Draper City come up with.

While I was at the edge of the river last week, I noticed three long PVC pipes going from the river bank into the river. The tips of the pipes have something black on the ends of the pipes, but the black objects were under water and I couldn't get a good look at them. The pipes were being bent by the swift current of the river, and I'm guessing the black objects are sensors of some kind to measure the velocity of the water. Once the engineers know how fast the river is flowing and how much water is flowing past the river bank, they can come up with a scheme to protect the bank from further erosion. The pipes were were spaced about 20 feet apart in the river bank immediately before the eroded part.

I also noticed that Draper has closed the trail just before it goes under the bridge at 12300 South. That section of the trail is flooded by the river. In the past there was a sign that said "Swift Water", and I assume they closed the trail to protect the city from liability if someone goes into the river and is caught by the swift current.


  1. Anonymous12/22/2011

    The Jordan River Trail is maintained by Salt Lake County not by Draper City.

  2. Thanks, Anon, for clarifying that. I know the cities are responsible for the original creation of the path, and the cities maintain the litter boxes that are scattered along the path. I think it was South Jordan City that installed a second pump under 106th South, but it hasn't been clear to me how the County and the cities share the maintenance.