Michael Everett, a member of the trails team, and Will Pratt, planning and project manager, informed the school board that they are working on the transportation trail along Rasmussen Road, which would end at Jeremy Ranch Elementary. An easement of the property near Jeremy Ranch by the school board would allow Basin Rec to continue the project and create safe passage for students as well as trail users between the Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook areas.
"We are looking at the possibility of an underpass," Everett said. "On the Jeremy Ranch Facebook page, we have seen parents looking for some safe connection between Pinebrook and Jeremy Ranch."
School board member Nancy Garrison said she has also been contacted by parents concerned about the dangers of passing a major highway.
"I have certainly heard from several Jeremy Ranch parents that indicate they currently don't allow their students to bike or walk to school because of the section of the frontage road they have to traverse," she said. "So I can see where that is a consideration."
One issue she, school board president Maurice "Moe" Hickey and other school board members face is whether or not the easement would impinge on their ability to make changes in the bus facility located behind the elementary school.
"Our buses go through there and Jeremy Ranch parents drive through there," Hickey said. "So I'm not completely sure it would help, but they answered our questions and now we have to make sure we're making the right decision for the future."
Basin Recreation representatives said they have met with Summit County Engineering to discuss the possibility of building the underpass, because they do have the funding to complete it. The first phase of the project will extend a connection to Pinebrook, they said.
It will be built under the off-ramps with a raised pathway above the road underneath Jeremy Ranch. There will then be another underpass on the Pinebrook side of Interstate 80 under the off-ramp to the on-ramp and under Pinebrook Boulevard so students and trail users can go all the way between the two areas without ever having to cross the busy road.
"The underpass, which we would like to build this summer, would go under Rasmussen Road and pop up on the north side of Bluebird Lane," Pratt said. "To do that, we would be asking you for an easement to help us."
They explained there would be also be a ramp and a crosswalk over to the school so that students coming in from the underpass would be able to miss all traffic coming in and out of the parking lot.
Garrison said her main concern is whether or not they might be able to build a driveway for the buses in the future should they allow the easement. The school board is looking for feedback from the "professionals in transportation" to see if the easement can realistically be a consideration.
"We need to make sure we are preserving the land the Park City School District has at its disposal to make the best use of it for our students, including their transportation needs," she said. "We need more feedback from the transportation department, but I am definitely hearing some strong sentiments from the community that they would like to have that protected trail access."
Hickey said a decision will be made on the easement at the meeting on Tuesday, May 20.
"I had a couple of questions, some of which I raised at the meeting, because I just want to make sure we're not overlooking anything in the future," Hickey said. "Usually we have a great relationship with the city and the county, but what everyone has to think about is how this is going to affect any future projects."