Dump truck details considered
May 9, 2007
OF THE RECORD STAFF
City Hall officials are considering the details of what would be a second significant Empire Pass soils-hauling operation, likely allowing another fleet of dump trucks to rumble down the steep Mine Road.
The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday is scheduled to discuss a wide-ranging plan that will regulate construction at the site of the Montage, seen as a swanky hotel in Empire Pass.
It is expected that the soils hauling will be the pivotal point during Wednesday’s talks. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. and commissioners expect to take testimony. Neighbors who live in upper Old Town, on streets like Marsac Avenue and Prospect Avenue, expressed dismay during hearings before the first operation, conducted in 2005. That one involved more material than contemplated in 2007.
The Montage site, on the slopes of Deer Valley Resort near the Empire Express lift, was an important spot during Park City’s silver-mining heyday and some of the soil there likely is contaminated with lead, zinc and cadmium. City Hall officials have long said they prefer that the contaminated material be removed from the site, situated at the top of the local watershed and near the Judge Tunnel, an important drinking-water source.
"It’s sitting in the upper reaches of the watershed. Our preference has always been to take that kind of material out of the watershed," says Brooks Robinson, a City Hall planner who recommends the commissioners accept the developer’s plans for the hauling.
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The dump trucks would take the material to an environmental repository at Richardson Flats, east of Park City, the same spot where the material was taken in 2005.
The Mine Road is among the steepest streets in Park City and there has been a series of accidents dating back years attributed to vehicles losing their brakes while driving the descent. The neighbors in 2005 were especially concerned about the possibility of a runaway dump truck. The operation, though, finished without incident.
Some of the details of the 2007 proposal, which is similar to the one in 2005, include:
( The route the dump trucks would take travels downhill out of Empire Pass on S.R. 224, the steep road between Deer Valley and Old Town that is known as Deer Valley Drive for a stretch. It would travel out of Park City on Deer Valley Drive, Bonanza Drive and S.R. 248, a state highway that is also known as Kearns Boulevard as it passes the Park City School District campus.
( The hauling would be allowed for 10 hours each day, Mondays through Saturdays, with none allowed on Sundays. The hauling is restricted to between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The contractors would have to notify the Police Department and the Building Department when they are planning to haul.
( A fleet of eight dump trucks, each outfitted with trailers known as ‘pups,’ would haul the material. The Utah Highway Patrol will inspect each truck beforehand and, with City Hall officials, will teach the drivers about the route, controlling their speed on the steep street and a runaway truck ramp near the bottom of the Mine Road. The drivers would be required to stop at a brake-check area.
( City Hall requires a $10,000 bond, with each speeding ticket costing $500 from the bond. If the money is spent, the operation would be stopped until another bond is posted.
Robinson estimates between 15,000 and 20,000 cubic yards of material will be removed during the operation, about one-third of the amount removed in the 2005 hauling. The rest of the material excavated during the Montage construction, if it is determined to be safe, may be used elsewhere in the project.
An executive with the Phoenix-based developer of the Montage did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment. Robinson says there has been little interest from the neighbors and says, since the first operation, roadwork has separated the houses and the Mine Road.
The Montage, the developers envision, will be among Park City’s elite lodging properties and City Hall officials approved it after a lengthy negotiation that touched on topics like open space and a park-and-ride lot.
The administrator of the EPA, Stephen L. Johnson, the nation’s top environmental officer, recently visited the Montage site to celebrate the developer’s commitment to green-building standards.