Workers on Tuesday removed a decorative median along a high-traffic stretch of Bonanza Drive to allow the contractor to soften its appearance, the Park City engineer said.
The barrier, with features rising 3 1/2 feet from the road, had been criticized since its installation in the summer of 2011 as part of the reconstruction of Bonanza Drive.
The barrier stretched southward from the Kearns Boulevard intersection toward the intersection with Prospector Avenue. It was installed as a safety measure to stop drivers from making left turns out of parking lots onto Bonanza Drive.
"They're being modified slightly, so they don't look so ominous," said Matt Cassel, the city engineer.
Cassel said there was also concern that someone could be injured if they fell onto one of the features of the barrier, which is made with steel. The features had a blade-like appearance, and some had referred to them as looking like samurai swords. Cassel said the appearance will only be slightly altered.
The city engineer anticipates the metal sections will be reinstalled by late August or early September. Cassel said the work is anticipated to cost a nominal amount of money, with the funding coming from leftover money from the redo of Bonanza Drive.
Cassel said the decorative median stopped at least two vehicles from crossing into the oncoming lane. In one of those instances, in August of 2012, a van became impaled. A cutting torch was used to dislodge the vehicle. The accident spurred discussions at City Hall about safety.
The decorative median was installed after a concrete one was put there. The concrete median only rose slightly from road level, causing a series of accidents involving vehicles hitting the concrete. At least one vehicle became stuck on the concrete.