Jump for joy, motorists, Bonanza Drive is open from end to end
November 19, 2010
Bonanza Drive, the site of major roadwork for two consecutive years, is open from end to end, an accomplishment that comes just before the opening of the mountain resorts and as the holiday shopping season approaches.
Matt Cassel, the Park City engineer, said he expected the work crews to have painted the road stripes on Bonanza Drive by Saturday. The road cones should be removed by then as well, he said.
"The road is open, and it’s going to stay open. We’re done with the road part of it," Cassel said.
Navigating Bonanza Drive this year had been difficult for drivers, with a lengthy closure of a stretch of the street earlier and construction crews frequently stopping traffic.
This year’s work was centered along the section of Bonanza Drive where the business district is situated, making it tougher for customers to get to the shops and restaurants. There had been complaints of sinking sales at some places during the work.
But the pedestrian-bicyclist tunnel underneath Bonanza Drive that was built close to the Rail Trail intersection this year as part of the overall work is not ready and will not open until December. Cassel said the work crews want the tunnel finished by mid-December or late December. The forecasted snowy weather could hinder the progress.
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According to Cassel, the pathways leading to and from the tunnel and retaining walls necessary to build the pathways are not completed. He said original designs for the walls needed to be changed to fit the conditions of the soil at the site, delaying the work.
The tunnel is the second of two pedestrian-bicyclist tunnels that were built this year, with the other one underneath Kearns Boulevard outside the Park City School District campus. The Kearns Boulevard tunnel opened recently.
The two tunnels were seen as the key projects funded by money raised in a ballot measure meant to pay for pedestrian and bicyclist upgrades.
Bonanza Drive is a busy street that handles traffic headed to and from Old Town as well as Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort. Pedestrians and bicyclists saw Bonanza Drive as one of the most dangerous streets for them to cross.
Calli Stauffer, the manager of Align Spa, situated along Bonanza Drive, said the business is happy to see the work finished. She said customers will more easily reach the spa with the redone road.
Stauffer said Align Spa, which has been in the location since 2007, had difficulty during the roadwork.
"We’re pretty excited. It’s just been a huge headache to get people into the spa," she said. "We really struggled to keep the doors open and business coming in."