Park City may be close to getting a pedestrian and wildlife tunnel underneath US 40, but first the county must secure nearly $400,000 in additional funds.
Summit County Engineer Derrick Radke, who is in charge of the project, said, "It will be a wildlife and non-motorized biking and walking tunnel eventually connecting Round Valley [trail system] to the Rail Trail."
The underpass would stretch under US 40 near the Utah Dept. of Transportation Road Shed in the Silver Summit area. The tunnel's proposed dimensions are 24 feet long by 12 feet high at the edges and 14 feet high in the center.
UDOT had increased the height of the tunnel to accommodate wildlife crossing, and Radke pointed out that the location is perfect for an underpass.
"The topography lends itself well to a tunnel," Radke said. "There's also a drainageway on the east side of US 40 that should make a migration area for wildlife."
The project is estimated to cost around $2.44 million. UDOT is funneling $1.2 million to the underpass; the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District has provided $750,000. Park City and Summit County have pledged $250,000 each, according to Radke.
UDOT may also be able to provide an extra $100,000 through a federal Transportation Alternative Program grant. That leaves the project around $400,000 short. The county may decide to fund part of it through a grant application in the Recreation Arts and Parks Program, should it be approved.
"We're still exploring all funding avenues, but we will be applying for a joint city/county federal grant," Radke said.
Summit County Manager Bob Jasper said the project is important, and the county is doing all it can to secure funding.
"We just need to put together enough money to do it," Jasper said. "We would all like to do it. The wildlife would definitely use it."
Radke said the county was hoping to start the project this fall, but with funding problems he said bidding will likely start in Jan.-Feb. 2014, with construction beginning summer 2014.