The Book Cliffs Highway, a massive proposed public subsidy to the fossil fuel industry, extending seep ridge road through Grand County to I-70 was just cancelled.
The Seven County Infrastructure Coalition (SCIC) has been pursuing this project against public opposition for several years. In 2015 the Grand County Council pulled out of the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition (SCIC) in order to avoid being outvoted over support for this project. This unnecessary project through a steep and wild canyon would have been expensive and destructive.
Estimated Project Cost:*
Construction for East Canyon Route: $157 Million
Maintenance Estimate (20 years): $27 Million
Yearly Maintenance: $1.35 million
* These estimates are from the Book Cliffs Transportation Corridor Study, others have ranged as high as $418 million in construction costs with annual maintenance and operating costs as high as $3.89 million.
The SCIC will petition the legislature to re-appropriate the remaining funds that will no longer be used on the highway. The SCIC proposes to give approximately 2.8 million dollars to the Uintah Basin Special services district to pay for maintenance on the existing Seep Ridge road that ends at the Grand county Line near the defunct US Oil sands tar sands pit and processing factory.
This is good news, now hopefully the Uintah Basin RR will be canceled as well.