Utah Department of Transportation—Cottonwood Canyons Public Private Partnership Fiber Deployment

Big and Little Cottonwood canyons in Salt Lake County are home to world class skiing, hiking and outdoor activities. Millions of people visit each year and unfortunately, crashes, congestion, and road closures are common. Despite the significant recreation and economic activity, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons (SR-190 and SR-210, respectively) lacked reliable, high-speed communication. Challenges included steep canyon walls, limited right of way and environmental sensitivity. The lack of high-speed communication delayed emergency response, hindered active traffic management, and limited businesses and government agencies operating in the canyon.

To make the area safer for all, UDOT partnered with telecommunications companies on a $6 million project to install 15 miles of fiber optic cabling and a Distributed Antenna System using 21 antenna poles. AT&T is using this infrastructure to provide a full-range of wireless services to canyon users including enhancements for 911 emergency services, high-speed data transmission, and 4G wireless carrier services.  These services reach cities, businesses, customers and residents.  UDOT used the fiber backbone to install ITS devices for active traffic management, making the result a safer and more reliable transportation system for residents and visitors alike.