Millions pledged to Old Town roads | ParkRecord.com

Millions pledged to Old Town roads

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

People who live in Old Town know what streets have been redone recently and those that need attention.

City Hall is keeping track as well.

As Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council continue their annual budget talks, officials have outlined what is planned as a decade-long program to reconstruct streets in the neighborhood.

The street work in Old Town has drawn little interest during budget meetings this year and neighbors likely are confident that City Hall will affirm its long-held pledge to fix up the streets, an ongoing effort since the early part of the decade.

In a report submitted to the elected officials this week, City Hall staffers outline road projects in Old Town through 2019, with the next major work tentatively scheduled for 2008.

The first projects on the schedule, with designs set to be drawn up this year and work following in 2008, are Norfolk Avenue between 8th Street and 13th Street and Woodside Avenue north from 13th Street. The report pegs the Norfolk Avenue work at a little less than $1.8 million and the work on Woodside Avenue at just less than $1.1 million.

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"It had not been significantly improved in decades," says Gary Hill, who directs the budget for City Hall. "It’s just Old Town’s turn."

Future planned roadwork includes:

( Upgrades to Sandridge Avenue, Hillside Avenue, Empire Avenue and upper Lowell Avenue, scheduled between 2009 and 2011. The work is expected to cost about $4 million.

( Improvements to Sullivan Road, Rossi Hill Drive and Swede Alley between 2012 and 2014, costing an estimated little less than $6.7 million.

( Redoing the numbered streets between 8th Street and 15th Street and Silver King Drive, costing about $3.7 million and scheduled between 2015 and 2017.

( Upgrades to Ridge Avenue and McHenry Avenue, with a cost of a little less than $4.6 million, scheduled in 2018 and 2019.

"Because Old Town is the oldest part of town, it’s its turn first," Hill says.

The aggressive schedule follows major upgrades to part of Woodside Avenue and upper Park Avenue. Neighbors, especially on upper Park Avenue, pressed for the attention and, in the post-Winter Olympic period, City Hall has been more widely committed to Old Town improvements.

The neighborhood is not the most populous in Park City but it is the most famous, with tourist hordes descending on Old Town in the winter and summer and Parkites heading to Main Street to shop, dine and have fun. Officials see improving Old Town streets as a benefit for the neighbors and the tourism industry, as there are lots of lodging choices.

The upcoming work on Norfolk Avenue and Woodside Avenue will include storm drains, sidewalks, pavement, curbs, gutters and underground conduit to house wires if they are someday removed from overhead and buried.

"Slowly but surely, we’re improving Old Town," says Eric DeHaan, the city engineer and the official who is instrumental as the roadwork is planned.

The elected officials are scheduled to review the roadwork at a meeting on Thursday. It starts at 3 p.m. at City Hall, with the discussion about capital projects, like roadwork, anticipated to start at 5 p.m. A hearing about the budget is scheduled at a meeting starting at 6 p.m.

The budget meetings have not drawn large audiences of regular Parkites.

Hill says sales-tax bonds, which pledge to pay back the bond money with revenues from sales taxes, will fund the roadwork.

"It is a rather long-term commitment to Old Town," he says.