Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Patrick Singleton


Patrick Singleton


Alfonso Torres


Ziqi Song


The state of Utah has many canal corridors that offer potential opportunities for establishing public trails.In the past, concerns such as public safety and canal companies’ abilities to perform maintenance have inhibited the construction of canal trails. Recently, local governments and canal companies have worked to overcome these challenges which has led to the establishment of some canal trails. The purpose of this study is to provide valuable insights and tools that can be used in developing future canal trails. In order to accomplish this, the study documents various case studies of completed canal trail projects, interviews stakeholders for future projects, summarizes findings into a guide, and explores decision making tools in prioritizing new projects.

The results of the study provide five unique case studies that can be used as a model for future projects. The study found that land ownership, maintenance, safety, liability, funding, and privacy are the main concerns of stakeholders. These concerns can be overcome by long-term planning, stakeholder collaboration, iterative design, and active public involvement. The study also provides insights on canal trail design, including trail width, trail type, corridor cross-sections, and intersection design. A prioritization tool is created for local governments to assist in deciding which canal trails to pursue first based on the projected transportation benefits.