Blackridge Reservoir is finally open
After a two-month delay, Herriman City’s Blackridge Reservoir, located at 15000 South Ashland Ridge Drive, opened July 15 and was soon swarming with locals escaping the 100 degree summer heat.
Herriman resident Jeff White said the place was packed within the first couple hours of opening. “They’ve been coming and basically trespassing every day to see if it’s open yet,” he said.
Construction and weather delays forced the city to postpone opening the reservoir.
“It was such an extraordinarily wet season we had to basically wait for the ground to dry up before construction could begin,” City Engineer Gordon Haight said. “It was better for us to delay and wait until the weather got good. Otherwise we would have gotten the chance to re-do stuff.”
Blackridge Reservoir was initially built to provide secondary water to both Herriman and Riverton, but city administrators and developers took it a step further and planned to make it an outdoor recreational facility. The city however didn’t have enough money to complete the 15-acre park based on its master plan, so city officials decided to complete it in phases. When Blackridge closed this past fall, the city began the first phase of the improvements.
“Phase One was really a direct result of feedback we received from residents on improvements they wanted to see at Blackridge; primarily traffic concerns,” Herriman City spokesperson Nicole Martin said. Traffic became a huge irritant for residents who live on Ashland Ridge which serves as the main artery in and out of the reservoir.
“It’s just a matter of time before some kids get hit,” resident Ryan Day said. “I’m a dad who has kids playing outside; it’s scary to see the amount of traffic speeding up Ashland Ridge to the reservoir.
In an effort to mitigate some of those concerns, the city established a one-way-in, one-way out, traffic pattern. Visitors to the reservoir will now enter off of Ashland Ridge, and then exit onto Ambermont Drive.
“The hope is that by establishing a one-way-in, one-way-out, we are attempting to control the flow of traffic so that it alleviates some of the strain that is on that street,” Martin said.
White, who lives on Ashland Ridge, disagrees saying the city hasn’t accomplished anything.
“People may come out Ambermont, but then they immediately take a left and then head right back down Ashland Ridge again, so speed and traffic are still an issue” he said.
Phase One also included laying all the sewer and water lines for future amenities at the park as well as grading and flattening out the parking lot. City officials said they weren’t prepared for how popular the reservoir would become, and therefore hadn’t planned for enough parking spaces. Overflow traffic began parking on residential streets and city officials began hearing residents complain almost immediately.
“We’ve added over 100 new stalls that we initially didn’t think were necessary,” Martin said. “We recognize that these homes and neighborhoods coexist with this amenity, and certainly we want to make that relationship as beneficial for all parties rather than a source of discontent.”
Phase Two, which will take place as money allows, will include public restrooms, a paved parking lot with curb and gutter, grass, pavilions and a playground and volleyball court. The cost to complete that phase is estimated to be around $700,000.
“This is a wait and see approach as we review next year’s budget,” Martin said. “This certainly is a project that is one of our top priorities, but there’s no shortage of important projects in the city, and so this will have to be weighed with other projects to decide which is the most beneficial to the city with the limited funds we have.”
City officials have also begun the preliminary planning for a second reservoir to be located in east Herriman at the end of Juniper Crest Road, approximately 4600 West 14700 South.
“This future reservoir will be much larger, and as a city, we are considering different water amenities, possibly to include some type of wakeboarding and water skiing facilities,” Haight said.