Park City, Summit County display solidarity against UDOT S.R. 248 idea |

Park City, Summit County display solidarity against UDOT S.R. 248 idea

Cars drive on State Route 248 during evening rush hour Thursday, July 11, 2019.
Christopher Samuels/Park Record

Leaders in Park City and Summit County on successive days this week approved identical resolutions essentially opposing a Utah Department of Transportation concept for a major redo of the S.R. 248 entryway, a display of solidarity that officials hope will influence the decision making as the state weighs the future of the highway.

The Summit County Council approved the resolution on Wednesday followed by a Park City Council approval on Thursday. The City Council did not spend extensive time on the matter on Thursday after addressing the issue in more detail previously.

Mayor Andy Beerman described a good relationship between City Hall and the state Department of Transportation. He acknowledged, though, most communities in Utah would support a concept like the one preferred by state transportation officials as he spoke in favor of the resolution in opposition to the concept. City Councilor Tim Henney said he wants a concept that is “driven by transit.”

Nobody testified prior to the City Council casting a unanimous vote on Thursday. The crowd at an earlier meeting spoke in opposition to the concept for the state highway.

The moves at City Hall and the County Courthouse were anticipated amid widespread criticism of the Department of Transportation concept for S.R. 248 between the S.R. 224 intersection and the U.S. 40 interchange. The concept calls for the expansion of the road to five lanes from the current iteration ranging from three lanes to five lanes. The concept would involve two lanes in each direction with a turning lane at each intersection. There would be two left-turn lanes at the intersections with S.R. 224 and Bonanza Drive.

State transportation officials based the concept on the projected traffic increases in coming decades, indicating intersections would fail if there is not work by 2040. The stretch of S.R. 248 — signed Kearns Boulevard inside Park City — is heavily traveled by Park City residents, people who live in Summit County and residents of Wasatch County. The backups on the road are some of the worst in the Park City area as the line of cars regularly reaches toward U.S. 40 during the morning commute.

People in Park City have criticized the concept as being designed for drivers in personal vehicles rather than one that would promote the use of transit, long a City Hall goal. There have also been concerns about the impact of the roadwork that would be necessary to enlarge the corridor to accommodate the redone highway, including the potential of a cut into PC Hill.

The resolution approved by the City Council and the County Council says the concept “is not in alignment with current City and County transportation related goals, policies, and objectives…”

“Park City, in cooperation with Summit County, hereby formally requests a commitment from UDOT to work cooperatively to identify a scalable multi-modal project that addresses highway, bicycle, and transit modes that fit the local context and character of Park City’s natural and human environment as the mobility needs of all corridor users following the close of public comment and prior to project approval,” the resolution says.

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