Kilby Road construction revved up just before school starts
The construction maze on Kilby Road is about to get worse before it gets better, with a portion of the road scheduled to close beginning on Wednesday, just a day before school is set to start.
Crews have started rebuilding the roundabout that serves as the entrance to the Tanger Outlets to help traffic flow more efficiently, a project that is expected to last through the beginning of October, according to Derrick Radke, Summit County’s public works director. He said the roundabout will not get any bigger in size, but will be modified to function as a two-lane roundabout to prevent traffic from backing up in the westbound lanes. The center of the roundabout will also be reconstructed to allow for truck trailer tires to ride up on the inner circle without damaging the interior landscaping, something the existing roundabout suffers from, he said.
Kilby Road will be closed to traffic between the roundabout and Powderwood Drive beginning on Mondays at 6 a.m. and will not reopen until noon on Fridays. A detour will reroute traffic from Landmark Drive to Tech Center Drive and behind the Tanger Outlets back to Kilby Road. Construction and detour signs were already in place as of Thursday.
“It will be inconvenient for about a month,” Radke said. “But, we’re just asking everyone to continue to be patient and to allow yourself a little extra time. I don’t think the detour will take a whole lot of extra time, but just allow a few extra minutes.”
The projects are part of a series of improvements that the county has planned for the frontage road between Landmark Drive and Quarry Village. Since early June, crews have been working to widen the road while simultaneously constructing a remote parking lot across from Ecker Hill Middle School. The lot will accommodate about 450 spaces and include a transit connection to the Kimball Junction transit center. Traffic is currently detouring through the remote parking lot.
Construction of a pedestrian underpass is also included in the project and will be complete around the same time as the rest of the improvements. The underpass will allow people to walk beneath Kilby Road between the parking lot and Ecker Hill Middle School.
Workers will begin paving Kilby Road on Monday, as well as two new roundabouts that will be placed in front of the park-and-ride lot and the middle school. The paving in front of the middle school is scheduled to be complete as soon as the first walls of the pedestrian crossing are in place. Flagging operations will continue throughout the days.
“Traffic will be flowing as normal except drivers will be going through a roundabout instead of a stop sign,” Radke said. “They should be finished paving Kilby Road by Saturday (Aug. 25) and finish the first lift of paving in front of the school on Tuesday/Wednesday so that school traffic can fully utilize the road. They will still be working on the rest of the park and ride, as well as everything else though mid-October.”
Melinda Colton, director of communications for the Park City School District, said the construction will effect “virtually every bus in our district.” She said students are bused from all over the district to the middle school and parents who take their kids to school commute from different portions of the Park City area. Congestion on Kilby Road during drop-off and pick-up times at the school is often severe even under regular circumstances.
“This will be a test of patience for all of us, especially our bus drivers and parents,” she said. “Summit County is doing all they can to help us mitigate all the issues. We would ask that parents plan their schedules accordingly because this will be inconvenient. But, keep in mind this is meant to improve traffic in that area.”
Colton said the closure and delays will likely cause buses to run late for pickups and drop offs during the first few days of school. Classes start on Thursday for elementary and secondary students. Kindergarten begins on Aug. 27.
“It’s just one of those things we will have to deal with and we will do the best we can,” she said. “We realize it will be inconvenient and we apologize for that. If students do not take the bus, whichever direction parents come from it will be a construction area. Just leave early so they are not rushed because that in turn makes our students anxious.”
The Kilby Road improvements are scheduled to be complete around the middle of October. Express transit operations from the remote lot will begin when Park City Transit’s winter service change takes place in mid-November, according to an email from Krachel Murdock, the county’s spokeswoman. She said the Kimball Junction West route, which serves Tanger Outlets and Pinebrook, among others, will include the remote lot and may begin as soon as the park-and-ride is operational.
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The unemployment rate in Summit County in September rose slightly and the state upwardly revised the August figure, evidence job gains in the Park City-area have largely stalled.