County to revisit Bitner Road connection, may select route
May 29, 2018
The Summit County Council is expected to revisit the idea of connecting Bitner Ranch Road and the Silver Creek neighborhood on Wednesday, with county staffers encouraging elected officials to select a preferred route during the meeting.
County Council members explored the possible connection with staffers in February during a public hearing more than 30 people attended, with many commenting on their preferred route for the new road and the impact it would have on their neighborhood. Residents were split about what their preferred route would be, with most wanting it constructed further away from their own neighborhood.
The connection is part of the county's transportation master plan and is intended to improve traffic flow, transit circulation and provide a necessary route for emergency responders to access the Silver Creek area, according to a county staff report prepared in anticipation of Wednesday's meeting. Drivers currently have to use Interstate 80 to reach Bitner Road or other areas in Kimball Junction.
County staffers told Council members at the February meeting that the connection has been on the table for more than 10 years. In 2015, Silver Creek's Service Area No. 3 conducted two informal surveys to better understand what the public wanted in terms of a preferred route. An overwhelming number of respondents selected a frontage road connection.
Four options are being considered based on the lowest cost of construction and number of parcels that would be affected by each alignment. The options are to extend the frontage road, Valley Drive, Church Street or Wasatch Way to connect with Bitner Ranch Road. The options have remained consistent throughout the process.
The frontage road option would be better for future transit and connectivity to area trails, according to the staff report. It wouldn't require traffic to travel directly through a neighborhood and represents the second lowest cost of construction among the potential routes. The preferred option for the Park City Fire District and Summit County's emergency manager would be to extend the frontage road.
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The second option — Valley Drive — would disturb the least amount of wetlands and would incur the lowest cost of construction. The road is close to the freeway, but wouldn't cause a traffic jam for cars waiting to access it. However, it would divert more traffic through a residential area and impact a significant amount of parcels.
Church Street and Wasatch Way pose similar benefits or constraints.
The matter is listed on the County Council's Wednesday agenda as a work session item. But, public input may be taken. It is scheduled for 5 p.m.
After the February meeting, county staffers were told to reexamine the costs of securing the right-of-way and gather more input from homeowners in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Staff has encouraged County Council members to select a preferred route during the meeting on Wednesday to allow the public works department to move forward with acquiring the right-of-way and designing the new road.