Work to begin on road near historic Utah canyon

Salt Lake City, Utah (AP) May 2011

Work is beginning on a $20 million road project that will improve access to natural gas wells near an eastern Utah canyon which has Native American artifacts and rock art.

Bill Barrett Corp. says the project will begin with a ground breaking ceremony in Carbon County.

The road is a cooperative effort between Denver-based Bill Barrett, Duchesne and Carbon counties.

Carbon County Commissioner John Jones says the road is an important step toward developing energy responsibly. The revenues from natural gas and oil drilling will help protect the cultural artifacts found in Nine Mile Canyon, which the road passes.

The natural gas project is the result of a compromise between Bill Barrett and environmentalists, but has come under fire recently because of a proposed pipeline through the canyon.