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Bedrock blasted sky high at High Valley Transit construction site

People around the Wasatch Back saw plumes of reddish-yellow smoke Thursday afternoon. It wasn't fire, but bedrock blasting.
Dani Karpinski Kazienko
People around the Wasatch Back saw plumes of reddish-yellow smoke Thursday afternoon. It wasn't fire, but bedrock blasting.

The smoke above the Snyderville Basin Thursday afternoon wasn’t fire; it was bedrock dust from the construction site of a new transit facility.

Breaking ground is harder when dirt turns out to be bedrock. That’s been the situation facing High Valley Transit, which wants to build a new facility at Silver Summit, behind the Home Depot on Old Highway 40.

The transit organization keeps many of its buses and microtransit vans in a big white tent across from Ecker Hill Middle School.

But it will soon be moving to a new location at Silver Summit, near the site of a new county services building in the works.

High Valley Transit was the first municipal organization to break ground, and leveling out the area has proven more difficult and costly than expected.

From certain angles, the smoke took on a reddish hue. The road in the distance is U.S. Highway 40.
Jill McKenzie
From certain angles, the smoke took on a reddish hue. The road in the distance is U.S. Highway 40.

Partly because of the anticipated cost of blasting, plans for the Silver Summit County Services Building originally came in $10 million over budget. County staff and councilmembers are debating how or whether to cut the budget.

The construction site has bedrock that needs to be blasted instead of excavated. According to HVT Director Caroline Rodriguez, that’s what created the multicolored smokeshow near U.S. Highway 40.

Big D Construction is the company handling the groundwork and did not comment in time for this report.

This is a developing story, and will be updated with more information when it becomes available.

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