Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Eight Months Later, North Salt Lake Landslide Remediation Still Not Started

landslide_1.jpg
Brian Grimmett
Aerial view of the damage caused to Eagle Ridge Tennis and Swim Club by an August 5th landslide in North Salt Lake

It’s been more than eight months since a landslide destroyed a home in North Salt Lake, but remediation efforts have yet to begin.  But why is fixing the hill taking so long, and what does it mean for a local business owner affected by the slide?

Brad Ferreira is the owner of the Eagle Ridge Tennis and Swim Club that is located directly below the hill where the landslide happened. He spends a lot of his time on one of the six courts the club has teaching tennis lessons. But all that changed after the August 5th landslide covered three of his courts with tons of dirt, and destroyed the canopy covering them.  

“We were expecting this to be fixed by now, but it’s taken a lot longer than we expect and we’re not actually sure when they’re going to get started or when it’s going to be fixed,” he says.

Because of the delay, Ferreira has only been able to use half of his courts for the past eight months. He says that’s causing him serious anxiety about the club’s future.

“It’s taken out about half of our, well not quite half, but a significant portion of our income," he says. "Worst case is we don’t get those three tennis courts back and we have to operate on three tennis courts. With the current debt structure I have on three tennis courts it would be extremely difficult.”

After meeting with Ferreira, I then went and spoke with North Salt Lake City Mayor Len Arave about the city’s remediation plan.

landslide_004.jpg
Credit Brian Grimmett
Inside the courts damaged by the landslide. North Salt Lake City Mayor Len Arave says they won't be saved.

 “Is he going to be able to recover those three courts?”

“No," says Arave. "There will be room down at the bottom. He may be able to get some parking there but those three courts will probably not be usable.”

Arave also says one of the main reasons work hasn’t started yet is because he and the city council are still trying to figure out who is going to pay the estimated $2 million price tag to fix the hill.

“To be honest, I don’t see how the city could fund the whole thing," he says. "But I am getting positive feedback from people that do want to get the project done.”

Those people include the developer, Sky Properties, and Questar and Kern River who have gas pipelines near the slide.

Meanwhile, Brad Ferreira is left with three less tennis courts and a very uncertain future.

landslide_005.jpg
Credit Brian Grimmett
To repair the toe, or bottom of the slide, a large buttress will need to be built where these courts currently sit.

“It’s a lot of money to fix the hill," Ferreira says. "Unfortunately, we’re stuck at the bottom and you know, if there were deep pockets and everybody would fix everything and fix, and put us back to where we were, life would be good, but it doesn’t seem to work out that way.”

The North Salt Lake city council is currently deciding between two construction companies who bid on the project. They have until May 23 to figure out the funding and select a bid. 

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.