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Cottonwood Heights Journal

New parking structure to help alleviate Big Cottonwood Canyon traffic

Jan 26, 2021 11:22AM ● By Josh Wood

The new parking structure is located on the southwest corner of Wasatch Boulevard and 7000 South. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights Communications Manager Tim Beery)

By Joshua Wood | [email protected]

Local officials dedicated a new parking structure in Cottonwood Heights as part of the Canyon Centre mixed-use development. The structure was developed through a public/private partnership to help make area shops and Big Cottonwood Canyon more accessible. The parking garage provides up to 278 public parking stalls on weekends and holidays and 80 during weekday business hours.

“As the ‘City between the Canyons,’ we are constantly looking for ways to improve our recreational experience, and one challenge we face is congestion and limited parking for those who recreate in the Cottonwood Canyons,” said Cottonwood Heights Mayor Mike Peterson.

On Jan. 14, Cottonwood Heights and Salt Lake County officials along with members of the Central Wasatch Commission gathered via Zoom for a virtual dedication of the structure.

“This is what a public/private partnership looks like when you have a good outcome,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “There are great restaurants and amenities for people to enjoy. I can’t wait to park and head up the canyon.”

Mayor Wilson thanked Chris McCandless for his leadership on the project, which McCandless said was a long time in the making. “I remember coming to this site as a teenager, and to see it revitalized is exciting,” McCandless said. “I’m thinking of the people on those great ski days who can come here and have covered parking.”

The new parking structure is located along the southwest corner of Wasatch Boulevard and 7000 South. The Canyon Centre is a mixed-use development consisting of restaurants, a hotel that is scheduled to open in early 2021, single family homes, a future apartment building, and a future office building. 

Traffic and parking, particularly on busy ski days, remains a challenge for local officials as demand for access to local canyons has outstripped infrastructure. The new facility is intended to help with canyon traffic.

“One goal for this project was to help alleviate some of that pressure, and by providing the availability of up to 278 additional parking stalls on weekends, this structure will assist in decreasing canyon-related congestion,” Mayor Peterson said. “We encourage recreationalists to take advantage of these stalls and use mass transit to make their way up the canyons.”

The parking stalls are located on the lower level of the garage and accessed on the north end of the Canyon Centre project. According to city officials, the new stalls will increase the parking inventory at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon by nearly 300%.

“It helps solve issues we face in gaining access to these mountains by reducing congestion in Cottonwood Heights and going up and down the mountains,” said Ralph Becker, executive director of the Central Wasatch Commission. “While parking garages aren’t exciting, it’s a fine example of how people can come together to get things done.”