Park City engineer, critical to road designs, maps route to Salt Lake job
March 23, 2018
Matt Cassel, the Park City engineer and a City Hall staffer with a critical role in designing the road network, has mapped a route to a new position.
Cassel, who has spent nearly a decade in the city engineer's office, will depart the Marsac Building in April. He will become the city engineer in Salt Lake City, one of the highest-profile positions in that field in the state, and will move from the oddities of Park City's road layout to the classic grid system of the capital city.
Cassel, 56, said he made the decision to take the Salt Lake City post since it will provide a new challenge. It was an "opportunity I couldn't pass up," he said.
"I enjoy where I'm at. I like what I'm doing," he said, describing that he is somewhat surprised he will leave the Park City position.
As the city engineer, Cassel holds important duties at the Marsac Building as growth continues. He is a fixture at City Hall meetings, oftentimes leading presentations or assisting other staffers as they present to the Park City Council and the Park City Planning Commission. Cassel's work in many ways provides the underpinnings to important growth discussions since roads and utilities must be addressed as development is considered.
One of the top accomplishments involves a series of road upgrades that have been completed under Cassel's direction. The redo of Bonanza Drive, a heavily traveled route between Deer Valley, Old Town and Kearns Boulevard, was especially notable.
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Cassel was also the point person on road upgrades in Old Town, including streets like Hillside Avenue, Empire Avenue, Lowell Avenue, Woodside Avenue and Norfolk Avenue. The Old Town work continued a program meant to improve the neighborhood in the post-2002 Winter Olympic era. The roadwork in Park City is scheduled to continue in 2018 with a project on Prospector Avenue.
"It's mainly our infrastructure is probably the biggest thing," he said about his accomplishments as the city engineer. "Our roads only have a certain life."
Cassel arrived in Park City after spending 12 years in a private sector engineering firm in the Salt Lake Valley. He also had municipal experience having worked as an engineer in Indianapolis. He said he saw an advertisement in January for the position in Salt Lake City and the hiring process took approximately seven weeks. He said Salt Lake City is pressing the idea of sustainability and wants streets designed that accommodate alternate means of transportation in addition to vehicles.
The engineering division that Cassel will lead in Salt Lake City has more than 40 people, or approximately 10 times the number of the Park City department. The City Council in Salt Lake City on Tuesday provided its consent to the hiring. A report submitted to the elected officials in Salt Lake City prior to the consent briefly reviewed Cassel's career, saying, as an example, he authored the first master plan at City Hall centered on traffic and transportation.
Park City has posted the city engineer position with a closing date for applications on April 4.
The departure will come just as the construction and roadwork season starts in Park City. The city engineer has important duties in City Hall projects as well as the private sector ones.