Advocating a Utah Lake Bridge

One of the things that is good about Editorial boards is that when they are right about something they usually do a good job of defining and defending their position and they have the power of the press at their disposal. (One of the problems is that they have all those advantages when they are wrong too.) A great example of that is the Daily Herald Editors putting the issue of a bridge over Utah Lake in perspective.

Local pressure groups are lining up to fight even thinking about the possibility of a bridge across Utah Lake. They might as well protest the heat of a Utah Valley summer. It’s inevitable that some kind of passage will be forged over the lake in coming years, and the most productive course would be to find the best feasible alternative that will serve the widest number of people.

When my close interest in the transportation issues of Utah County began, the idea of a lake bridge seemed like a distant possibility – something that might happen in 20 or 30 years if at all. Years of living there and following the issues easily have me convinced that the question of if a bridge should be built is short-sighted, the only real questions to answer are where, when, and how to do the job right.

No comprehensive plan to meet the growing transportation needs of Utah County can fail to include some route across the lake. Anyone who wants to delay or minimize a lake bridge had better approach their goal through community planning and business development in Cedar Valley. Only by lowering the overwhelming incentives to travel between that growing area and the established communities on the east side of the lake will allow for a more leisurely approach to designing the bridge that will still become necessary at some point in the future for economic and quality of life reasons.

One nice change in their rhetoric is that they no longer appear to lay the blame for this issue at the feet of Lehi City – like they did only 2 months ago.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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22 Responses to Advocating a Utah Lake Bridge

  1. James Carville says:

    You People are morons…Why do you hate what God made so much?…

  2. David says:

    I don’t see any indication that “We People” hate the lake. Please don’t try to convince me that wanting to build a bridge is an indication of hatred for the lake (unless you want to be consistent and tell me that every time people build bridges it is an indication of hatred for the thing being bridged).

  3. James Carville says:

    Looky here Chico-
    I look at this from the perspective of a sportsman…

    First, there was a big ‘ol CLEAN lake with FORTY POUND cutthroat trout(Which would draw every deep pocketed dumb fisherman, eco-traveler and rich, elitist, hippie celebrity in the world, if it were still in that state- and they would pay to THROW THE FISH BACK!- Catch and Release!- its all the rage, daddy-o…) but large scale industrialized fishing wiped the cutts out in a couple of decades…’cause your(..and mine, I’m not counting out my stupid ancestors!…) progenitors hadn’t the forethought to- oh, I dunno…maybe think on a longer term basis?…isn’t that what they call it?…
    Then there was the idea that they could put carp in as a replacement…but carp root on the bottom and turn the water muddy- and people don’t wanna eat them…and and any other species that they try to establish can’t get a foothold- because carp have made a mess of everything, and now are running up the Provo river to spawn ( a place that still does draw money (BECAUSE OF THE TROUT)… so the entire management scene for Utah Lake is now set for a century…To whit:
    “Well, its already nasty, so a making it crappier won’t hurt nothin’…”

    Farming on the bays?… made the lake Crappier…

    Geneva Steel?…made the lake Crappier…

    I-15?…made the lake Crappier…

    The marinas?…made the lake Crappier…

    The Utah County Population Explosion?…Made Heavenly Father happy- but still…MADE THE LAKE CRAPPIER…(which Heavenly father isn’t gonna be so pleased about- but, hey…Right?…)

    So excuse me for not fully believing YOU PEOPLE when you SAY that you reason for building a bridge is merely to ease congestion and save time, when you know as well as I do that in every bowling alley and cafe in the county you can hear people talking about the “opportunities” and making petty deals for parcels in anticipation this phantom bridge..and if it ever is built don’t try to make me believe that the folks behind the missives like the one above will not ultimately profit far beyond the projects utility. You know it and so do I.
    And many of the folks who will profit most will also be true believers (as I am) and will claim that the bridge is pleasing to the Lord- while at the same time paying lip service to Gods Directive to be stewards to ALL CREATURES in His Dominion…And to THAT end what should be done with Utah Lake is to RESTORE it to His Ideal(and coincidently profit handsomely from THAT accomplishment!…)but it easier to profit BIG from a small Accomplishment than to profit less from a REAL accomplishment so we’ll just build a bridge ( and the accompanying subdivisions, junk factories, sewage lagoons, strip malls, mobile home parks, box stores that send more money to Asia, and not least- carp hatcheries…)…
    So perhaps Y’all don’t “hate the lake”- but you dang sure don’t like it if you refuse to do the right thing for it- and seem to do so with the idea that God is in your corner…(at 5 and 1/4 percent annual…)
    He said “Take care of what I gave you” and you have chosen to read that as “Make the most money with My gifts- However Profane- or Ugly…”
    Its your Soul, Bro…Do with it as you like- and you can keep your Crappy Lake- and bridge too…
    But I will side with God…and in this case, I guess I’ll side with the Hippies Too…

  4. David says:

    Wow – thanks for the tirade – I found a few useful bits there.

    For the rest, you make a few statements that deserve to be examined:

    First, when was the last time that there was decent fishing in the lake? I’m only working with the only lake I’ve ever known there which has never (in my years in Utah Valley) been a place for good fishing or other recreation.If you have been around longer and knew the lake back when there was something worth fishing then I thank you for the added perspective, but I would appreciate it if you could imagine for one moment that not everybody can imagine the lake as anything other than what it is now.

    Second, your ancestors may have had a hand in changing the lake from its former beauty, but what do you know of my ancestors?

    Third, can you see no way that the lake could be cleaned up (returned to its former glory) if there is a bridge across it? I see those two goals as independent of each other, not as conflicting goals.

    Fourth (and finally) may I make a suggestion – so long as you take such a confrontational approach in sharing your point of view you are unlikely to get anybody to listen seriously to you and learn from your perspective. Honestly, when you talk about the “Crappy Lake” it sounds more like you hate the lake than anything I have said. It certainly warps what I believe your intended message is – that this was once a beautiful lake with great recreational opportunities and we should really be working to restore it to that pristine condition. That is a message I can agree with – although I have indicated that I believe that goal does not necessarily preclude efforts to build a bridge.

  5. James Carville says:

    I too had High School debate- so don’t Red Herring and Strawman a fellow bullshooter- gimme that, won’t you?…
    1.”First, when was the last time that there was decent fishing in the lake?…” about 1870(or even earlier, I don’t have the books in front of me…)- before my time too, however that still doesn’t mean restoration is not a worthier cause than a veneer of efficiency and convenience overlying a moneymaking scheme(before any plan ostensibly for the “public good” is announced for public discussion there has always been a calculated effort by the folks behind the plan to ensure that there are multiple avenues to exploit- for unduly excessive profit,of that publicly good plan….cynical I know, but where has this cynicism been more justified than in our fair county?…history bears out..). Whether or not you can IMAGINE what Utah lake could be like as decent and natural has little bearing on this cynical truth and I (for one) have little regard for the “It was like this when I found it” excuse, and does not excuse choosing a more profitable (for some) bridge over restoring the lake to a somewhat less profitable(to some), but more natural and egalitarian goal.
    2. “…Your ancestors may have had a hand in changing the lake from its former beauty, but what do you know of my ancestors?…” Whether your personal grandfathers or grandmothers had anything to do with the steady degradation to a once natural wonder has nothing to do with the fact that the former and and current residents of the geographical area have- since the initial settling of said region by non-natives,considered the lake with no more regard than a stinking puddle – when it has been considered at all, to the detriment of the resource itself, and of those that inhabit its perimeter, and I advocate treating it as a precious resource and gift to be treasured, and to enrich all of us in the LONG TERM rather than the few of us lucky enough to be in “on the ground floor” of the bridge boondoggle, in the short term.
    3. “…Can you see no way that the lake could be cleaned up (returned to its former glory) if there is a bridge across it?…” I CAN see that the two functions are not mutually exclusive. Do I believe this is likely?…I can’t say I do- The bridge will(- likely HAS already…)open up much formerly marginal land to speculation, and that will open to development of Ivory Homes future slums, and strip mall pseudo-culture, which will in turn attract more drifting disposable diapers, sewage “treatment” plants, Red Bull cans,empty Costco shopping bags, and floating six pack rings( and for the folks out at Eagles Landing perhaps some Mount Olympus Water bottles for good measure?..)to the lake than are there now. Not to mention what might well be my primary objection-when is enough going to be ENOUGH!….? Why must everything good and holy be turned into a mockery?…(and is The One Being Mocked hip to the joke- a very important question…)is “convienience” and “efficiency” more important that beauty?…are we so vain that we cannot look at Creation without saying “..Well, I could do a little better- perhaps a bridge…”
    4. “…As long as you take such a confrontational approach in sharing your point of view you are unlikely to get anybody to listen seriously…” Nobody listens if you AREN’T confrontational- unfortunate as that is…and if they do listen they take your politeness as a sign of weakness and attempt to mow you down- when you are up against sharks- you had best at least have teeth…and hopefully the will to use them…I much prefer civility, but this is neither a civil world, nor a civil town/county.(our local penchant for passive aggression certainly bears this out, though due to the nature of passive aggression you wouldn’t notice if you are an outsider!…)
    I don’t hate the lake- but I would like to see it, and all of the waterways on the Wasatch front, fit places for children and pets rather than stopping over places for the homeless and likely disease vectors…
    There are waterways back east that were up until the 1970’s incapable of sustaining life- in Appalachia – Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania…and those communities decided to fix them, and now there are brook trout and fly-fishermen where not long ago there were only bums, shopping carts, and drown tires…and a lot of that had to do with deciding that they didn’t need as much convenience or efficiency- removing roads and bridges, and setting houses and farms back away from the water…perhaps we westerners could learn a few things from some folks who went a lot farther in nearly wasting their inheritance….A bit like it looks to me we are trying to do at times…

  6. David says:


    I never did High School debate (or any other debate so I recognize that “strawman” and “red herring” are debating terms but I can’t read the arguments and identify them as you so readily can) – you need to slow down in all your leaping to conclusions because so far you have been wrong each time you have declared what I already know. You also cheapen your argument with every arrogant or flippant “Chico” or “daddy-o” you throw at me – none of that suggests that you prefer civility over aggression.

    Once again, I like the argument that you finally got around to making (and you did a good job articulating it in your final two paragraphs) that we can and should restore the beauty of the lake and that such a restoration is not unprecedented. That being said, so long as you act as if yours is The One True Point of View ™ I doubt you’ll be an effective advocate for the lake whether you try civility or aggression (and civility is hard to pull off when you think yours is the only valid viewpoint).

  7. Carl says:

    I think the learned debater, Mr. Carville has taken offence at David’s treating the bridge as a foregone conclusion.

    Apparently this learned debater remembers the good ol’ days in 1870 when he was pulling 10# crappies out of Utah Lake. I’m sure he’s angry about the fact that the more crappies in the lake, the lower the quality of the crappies. You can’t fault an old guy for wanting the world to stay the same. I’m guessing that if our learned debater was in charge, the world would be back using a sharpened stick to plough the field instead of such advances as a horse-drawn plough.

    I realize that he originally said “cutthroat trout”, but he said “crappier” after that. I nearly snorted my orange juice after he said it the third time. I actually did snort it when he said it the fifth time. So I decided that instead of trout, I would refer to crappies.

    (P.S. my use of improper spelling is aimed at conveying a visual dialect, it’s on purpose. Just in case our learned debater cares to point out my misspelling.)

    David, for your information, as long as our learned debater invokes religion in his argument he’ll be right, you’ll be wrong. How dare you even think of not agreeing with him! You are a heathen swine.

    Our learned debater apparently understands the entire history of Utah since the early days of creation and therefore understands all the motivations of the people who have lived there. Given that in-depth knowledge, he has perfect foresight in the appropriate handling of the state until the world ends. He’s not relying on today’s hindsight to judge yesterday’s actions and he’s not relying on conjecture to forecast what will happen in the future with all its bleak possibilities.

    I think some people just weren’t meant for polite society. Some indicators of this are: the inability to spell, the use of invective as a reasoning tool and THE USE OF SHOUTING as a means of persuasion. In short, our learned debater was made for internet publication and not for polite society. He might consider a job with the ACLU or PETA, both organization are worthy of his debate talents.

  8. David says:

    With James being a self-declared sportsman, my first inclination is to think that James’ ideals would not be a good fit for PETA or the ACLU. Upon further consideration I realize that I was jumping to conclusions on both points – I have no idea how most of his views would conflict or coincide with the views of either of those organizations.

  9. Carl says:

    I jumped to no conclusions.

    Peta or ACLU = Nuts; James = Crazy, Nuts = Crazy; Q.E.D. James = PETA or ALCU.

    Mathematically airtight.

    Also, I just realized by looking at James’s post that the elipses and the dash are the new sliced break of punctuation. It’s like trying to read Morse code I…-…just…-…hope…-…that…-…someday…-…I…-…can…-…master…-…the…-…use…-…of…-…them………

  10. David says:

    One thing from James’ comment (#3) has been gnawing at my brain – his reference to 40 pound cutthroat trout. I finally satisfied my curiosity about the potential size of cutthroat trout:

    . . . may reach weights of 20 pounds (9 kg) but those fish which remain permanently in freshwater may only reach a weight of 2 pounds (1 kg).

    I guess someone was listening to his grandpa telling fish stories. (Maybe they were only 4 pounds.)

    James – if you want to accuse me of a red herring again, please do me the favor of referring to this as a “rainbow cutthroat” instead.

  11. Pingback: David Miller » Blog Archive » My Utah Lake Perspective

  12. R C Meyers says:

    Yea, go ahead and build some concrete strip across a natural lake, named for Utah, in the same state that contains Rainbow Bridge and Arches National Park. Show us how much respect you have for the beauty of Utah.

    Do you really think they are going to spend the money to give us an architectural wonder, the likes of The Golden Gate Bridge, The Brooklyn Bridge, The Leonardo Bridge Project or The Millennium Bridge?

    You already know they will build another structure that will neither inspire the people of Utah and her visitors, or compliment the natural environment. But it will make money for someone. And it will give a private company the rights to a state lake. Yea, do it. Sell the Utah Lake. Show us just how much integrity you have.

    • David says:

      Yes, because Utah Lake is so beautiful right now . . .

      I’m not buying that argument. Utah Lake is one natural resource that desperately needs someone to take an economic interest in its development so that I can become beautiful – as it was long, long ago.

      Those who oppose the idea of a bridge have a right to their opinions, but they probably have not spent an hour choking fumes in Lehi trying to get around the lake from Saratoga Springs (or Eagle Mountain) to Orem/Provo.

      The population of Utah County is growing rapidly and the growth (of necessity) is taking place mainly on the west side of the lake. Those people often need to get to the current population center of the county for one reason or another and there is no good ease-west corridor to allow that. These are facts that have to be dealt with. Why don’t you propose an alternate solution rather than simply bellyaching about the worst-case scenario of the solution that has been proposed.

  13. Tyler says:

    Thank you all for this discussion. How enlightening to have all these viewpoints side-by-side, all competing for viability. The debate process is where the real growth takes place, and I think James made some very good points. It’s not fair to dismiss a person as “crazy” because they disagree with you, even if they may not articulate themselves perfectly. Funny for Carl to follow a post about civility and “polite society”, with an (ahem) scathing vilification of James’ opinions. Condescension is closely related to shouting.

    David is correct, that the building of the lake bridge is inevitable. R.C. is also correct, that it should be tasteful. And we all know that it will not be. Ultimately this proposed bridged will be a Midtown Plaza-sized eyesore, and therefore must be resisted until all of the aesthetic and environmental specifications can be agreed upon. We cannot let economic interest alone spoil our habitat, visually or environmentally.

    • David says:

      I agree with Tyler that we should do all we can to ensure that the bridge is not an eyesore that will detract from the potential for Utah Lake.

      I would like to point out that, knowing Carl, he made his “scathing vilification” of James in an attempt to solicit a chuckle from those who would read it and to illustrate how James was going over the top in his condescending remarks at the beginning of the discussion.

  14. Tyler says:

    My wife and I drove up to Squaw Peak tonight and looked out over the valley. It’s easy to see that the good folks out in Saratoga need something, that a bridge will soon be an absolute necessity.

    From the Deseret News:

    “It is not now clear how much money the state could make on the toll bridge, Sumsion said. The money would go into the state lands trust fund, and he hopes it would come back to help manage the lake, like helping to get carp out of the body of water.”

    After the excursion, and this article, I am for the idea. But I still maintain that if the bridge is not up to aesthetic specifications, it should be heavily protested. And hopefully the surrounding towns treat the area around the lake respectfully, rather than allowing Ivory Homes suburbia, strip malls, and other profitable/soulless ventures to run amok.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Did you know that according to an old 1804 Humboldt map, the Aztec people originally called Utah Lake, LAKE TEGUAYO?

  16. Brandon says:

    This has been so interesting to read. I love reading debates about things that people feel so passionately about.

    I do however, think that with something like this, religion should be left out. It becomes personal at that point.

    Well done, David.

  17. Redster says:

    While we’re at it, why can’t we build a monorail through Bryce Canyon? It’s really inconvenient to walk through. And the money would go into the state lands trust fund, to like get those hippies out of the parks.

  18. Gina says:

    I am 41 years old, I live in Saratoga Springs and I was
    diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008. MS causes exacerbations
    – that is when you have a sudden flare up of the disease. In such a
    case we are instructed by our doctor to immediately go to a
    hospital and have three days of an infusion. The Instacare facility
    by the Wal-Mart does not have the necessary equipment to treat me.
    Without immediate treatment one can have severe consequences, such
    as permanent paralysis, loss of speech and vision. If there were a
    bridge my husband could get me to a hospital. This bridge could
    turn out to save my life or quality of my life. My husband has also
    had his health issues, we do not have the money to move. I am also
    supposed to see a neurologist on a regular basis but they are all
    on the other side of the lake. And while there is no cure for MS
    there is medicine that we take that is supposed to at least lower
    the amount of exacerbations. It is a weekly injection that I take
    at home, it has to be refrigerated. If the power goes out and the
    power company cannot make it out here to restore the power my
    medicine can go bad – which is bad news for me. I felt it was
    important for me to share my story because I have not seen the
    health issues being brought up in the debate over the bridge. I
    completely understand people not wanting to touch the beauty that
    is the lake, but for me this is potentially a life and death
    situation. It’s hard to imagine when you are young and healthy, but
    this is a world full of unknowns. The Multiple sclerosis that I was
    diagnosed with tends to hit folks between the ages of 20 and 40. I
    never considered that I would be facing this, but I am. I literally
    beg you to please build that bridge, the bridge to my better future
    as well as others. Gina Annette Funicello and Richard Pryor were
    diagnosed w/ MS. What is MS?

  19. Amy says:

    Such ignorant thinking!

    Building one more road is an outdated, inefficient idea that will mar the natural beauty of the area, increase an already horrible air pollution problem, and not solve any problems in the LONG term.

    Roads ALWAYS eventually reach their capacity. What would you all suggest we do when the bridge is built (and completely full)? Build another?

    A more future-proof solution is to build mass transit—and NOT over a wonderful natural feature like Utah Lake.

    • David says:

      I find it funny that people come to lambast something that was written over 3 years ago where almost nothing has even been discussed in almost two years. Worse than that there is no indication that you read beyond the title.

      If you were to read more of my writing you would see that I have been an advocate for mass transit. If you read the whole post you would see that I make suggestions for how to mitigate the pressure to build a bridge over the lake. And if you read the comments you would find that there are reasons to build a bridge that are based on reality rather than ignorance.

      If you would care to address anything beyond the title of the post I would be happy to have a discussion even on a post as old as this.

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