Bonanza Drive talks continue |

Bonanza Drive talks continue

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Park City officials recently engaged merchants along the Bonanza Drive corridor again, with the business people continuing to worry that the upcoming roadwork on the busy street will ruin their sales.

The two sides talked about the plan’s blueprints, the timing, road closures that will be required and trucks that use the road. The talk, held with Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council, came as some merchants have become leery of the work. They are fearful that the road construction will be disastrous for business at a time when they are already struggling in the recession.

Cindy Matsumoto, one of the owners of Right at Home, a furnishings store on Bonanza Drive, said she understands City Hall’s desire to redo the road, but she said the work will be difficult on business.

"Times aren’t so good anymore," Matsumoto said, referring to the recession.

Once the work is finished, she said, it will be more difficult for drivers to get to her store. She wanted officials to reconsider the plans at the entrance to the store’s parking lot.

"It’s not just me, it’s other buildings behind me," she said.

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Mark Spencer, who owns the barbecue restaurant Spencer’s Smokin’ Grill on Bonanza Drive, wondered whether businesses were notified of the upcoming work. He has previously said he is worried about the effects on his restaurant. Spencer said the plans seem like a "bouncing ball" with repeated changes.

City Hall wants to start the work by the beginning of July, and the crews will also install a water line along the Bonanza Drive route.

City Engineer Matt Cassel said in an interview before the recent meeting the work will stretch through two construction seasons. He said some of the details, though, have not been finalized. The water line, however, will be installed this year, he said.

Cassel estimates the work will cost $5.5 million. The price encompasses upgrades to make Bonanza Drive safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, including a tunnel underneath the road close to the intersection with Iron Horse Drive.

Bonanza Drive is a heavily traveled street that connects Deer Valley Drive with Kearns Boulevard. Afternoon rush-hour traffic is terrible in the ski season, and there are backups at other times as well.

Some of the upgrades planned as part of the work include:

Installing a median on the length of Bonanza Drive, with breaks in the median at Park City Plaza and at the intersection with upper Iron Horse Loop. The breaks will allow left turns in and out at those spots. The breaks were incorporated after criticism of earlier plans that would have disallowed the turns.

Adding bicycle lanes on both sides of Bonanza Drive.

Improving the sidewalks and adding small sections of sidewalk.

Installing the wiring needed if a stoplight is desired someday later at the Iron Horse Drive intersection.

Improving the streetlights at Bonanza Drive intersections and adding streetlights at Iron Horse Drive.

Adding a crosswalk with a pedestrian-activated signal at the Munchkin Drive intersection.

Installing at least two electronic signs that display a driver’s speed on Bonanza Drive.