Basin man to county: ‘Finish the job’ Patrick Parkinson Of the Record staff
With a traffic light installed recently at the intersection of Old Ranch Road and S.R. 224 still not operational this week residents say the Summit County Commission has made an already dangerous stretch of road even worse. "We’re all waiting and waiting. They’re irritated about it," Old Ranch Road resident Richard Thomas said.
Several months ago, Summit County realigned Old Ranch Road with Sun Peak Drive anticipating the installation of a traffic signal at the busy intersection.
"I try to avoid it now," Thomas said, adding that, instead, he takes Old Ranch Road north to Highland Drive to access S.R. 224 via Ute Boulevard. "I want to get out onto 224 with a traffic light, I don’t want to play dodgeball at that intersection."
Icy roads have prevented Utah Department of Transportation crews from striping the new intersection and it could take another week before the signal is turned on. "We could have intermittent rain and showers for at least another week we don’t want to turn it on without the striping because that would pose an even potentially more dangerous situation," UDOT spokesman Nile Easton said, adding that funding for the signal is channeled through the state. "We can handle cold as long as it’s dry."
During the winter, snow covers most of the paint at the intersection, Thomas said, adding, "what difference does it make? Quit waiting for the optimal period." "Can we please have the safety of a traffic light?" he asked, adding, "they found an excuse to fail we’re down to the point now, we’re waiting for paint."
The Summit County Commission should have been prepared to install the traffic light before realigning Old Ranch Road because motorists on both sides of S.R. 224 must now turn left onto the highway "head to head," Thomas said. "If it keeps snowing are they just not going to turn on the light until the snow season is over," he asked. But Snyderville residents haven’t complained to UDOT, Easton said. "Any time we put up a signal like this, especially with a realigned road, we ask people to bear with us," Easton said. "Drive a little more alert."
The lights will likely flash for a day when they are turned on so drivers can adjust to the new signal, Summit County Engineer Derrick Radke said.
"It should be soon that that light will go on," Radke recently told the Summit County Commission.
But Thomas blasted county officials for claiming since September that the signal was near completion. "I was pretty excited when they put the poles up," Thomas said. "Then they taped everything up and walked away."
"Nothing counts until you’re done finish the job," he said.
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