GSENM, the flagship of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Landscape Conservation System, in partnership with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and the Scenic Byway 12 Foundation decided it was time to give the overlook a face-lift.
Using decisions from the Scenic Byway 12 Corridor Management and Interpretive Master Plans, and the principles of BLM’s Guidelines for a Quality Built Environment, the BLM planned and designed the project as well as provided construction oversight. The Federal Highways Administration, via UDOT, provided Transportation Enhancement Funds to pay for the $150,000 project.
A local firm, Harward & Rees, from Loa, Utah, won the contract for the construction that began last fall. They built a natural stone-veneered retaining wall with integrated seating and interpretive panels and a universally-accessible viewing platform; delineated parking for passenger and oversize vehicles; performed erosion remediation and constructed control features; and put in a vegetated median to separate the overlook from highway travel lanes. Work was completed in mid-December just before freezing temperatures set in for winter. The last task - planting more than 400 native plants and spreading seed on disturbed areas of the site – was accomplished as snow began to fall.
BLM construction oversight was provided by State Engineer Trent Duncan, District Engineer David Barfuss, and GSENM Landscape Architect Allysia Angus.
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