Norfolk potholes, they’re terrible
May 6, 2008
For Carol Shepard, it is worth it to drive an extra block or two just to avoid what she says is the worst pothole on the stretch of Norfolk Avenue where she lives.
It sits in the road near the 12th Street intersection, and Shepard says she regularly drives south to 8th Street and then to Park Avenue to make sure her small car does not have to drive over the pothole every time she leaves the house.
"I have my little Mini Cooper. It does not take the potholes well," Shepard says, describing that Norfolk Avenue’s condition, made worse by construction traffic and snowplows, has deteriorated terribly in the last two years.
City Hall understands the problems on the part of Norfolk Avenue where Shepard lives and plans to rebuild the street this year, part of the local government’s long-running efforts to upgrade Old Town’s streets.
Officials this year want to rebuild Norfolk Avenue between 8th Street and 13th Street, and they also plan to redo Woodside Avenue between 13th Street and 15th Street. Small portions of 15th Street and 13th Street will also be rebuilt.
The Park City Council recently authorized an almost $4 million contract with a Kamas firm called DC Transport & Excavating for the work. The firm will also make improvements to small parts of sidewalks on Park Avenue, Lucky John Drive and at the Olympic Welcome Plaza.
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The work on Norfolk and Woodside avenues will be especially welcome, though, to people who live and visit Old Town. Neighborhood boosters frequently call the streets two of Old Town’s gems, and there are many historic homes on them.
Ron Johnson, who is the interim Park City engineer, says the work will include:
( New asphalt
( New water and sewer pipes
( New storm-drain pipes
( Conduit to one day bury utility wires
( Curbs and gutters
( Sidewalks on one side of each street
"Not having to go through the potholes and utility cuts, it will just make a smoother ride," Johnson says, adding City Hall has not undertaken extensive maintenance on the streets since improvements have been slated. "The ride isn’t as smooth as it would be later . . . It’s bumpy, and you can feel it."
Johnson expects construction will start in mid-May, with completion projected by the end of October. He says he has received a few calls from people who live on the streets and support the work.
The road workers will shut down the streets to through traffic, but people who live on them will have road access most of the time, Johnson says.
The work on Norfolk Avenue and Woodside Avenue will follow similar road projects in Old Town as City Hall has tried to rebuild the neighborhood’s aging infrastructure. Other stretches of road that have received similar treatment include upper Park Avenue and Prospect Avenue.
People on upper Park Avenue, the portion of the street south of Heber Avenue, were especially aggressive as they lobbied for the improvements. They contended spiffier streets in Old Town would help Park City show off the historic district, which has been used in marketing campaigns for years.
Shepard, who has lived on the 800 block of Norfolk Avenue for 10 years, says some of her neighbors are "getting annoyed" with the potholes. She wants to sell her house, but the condition of the road, she says, hampers her efforts.
"In an affluent community like Park City, we have the money to do it," she says about fixing up the road. "It’s ridiculous it’s not done."