Roundabouts coming to Newpark |

Roundabouts coming to Newpark

The transportation impact fees charged to new businesses at Kimball Junction aren’t nearly enough to cover the expected costs of upgrading area roads by 2030.

That’s according to statistics Kent Wilkerson with the Summit County Engineering Department presented to the Summit County Council on Wednesday.

Planned projects to satisfy future needs will cost the county about $55 million. In the past five years, transportation impact fees have collected less than $2 million.

This concerned County Council member Chris Robinson, but Wilkerson said increased use of public transportation and area trails can alleviate future needs, and not all road improvements will be funded by county coffers.

"We’re in our infancy on it," Wilkerson said.

He also emphasized that transportation fees are the best way to pay for these improvements. People traverse the roads to visit the businesses, so the merchants should help pay for that infrastructure, he said.

"The focus must be regional. Traffic doesn’t stop at the end of your (commercial) driveway," he added.

Unfortunately for Junction commerce, most of the projects planned for the long-term will resemble the Landmark Drive realignment that interfered with business for months. In fact, that project shouldn’t even count as addressing future needs, Wilkerson said, because it was long overdo.

The very next project area residents and merchants can expect is a pedestrian tunnel underneath S.R. 224 near Redstone Village, he said.

The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District Board may award that project to a contractor as soon as May 11.

Road building will also continue south of Walmart in preparation for the construction of a research park.

In the not too distant future, the county also plans to build two roundabouts where Uinta Way (the street running east of Smith’s Food & Drug) intersects with Newpark Boulevard and Ute Boulevard.

The county does not own a single traffic light, Wilkerson said. Each one in the Basin, like those along S.R. 224, is owned and maintained by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) or some other entity. The county finds roundabouts to be much safer and cheaper to maintain, Wilkerson said.

A long-range project is the widening of Landmark Drive between Walmart and the Tanger Outlet Center. In 20 or more years, the county is anticipating building a bridge over S.R. 224 so Landmark Drive and Ute Boulevard travelers won’t impede traffic on the state road.

Basin and Park City residents have been clamoring for improvements along S.R. 224, said Councilor Sally Elliott.

Because it is a state road, those must be done by UDOT, he said, and those discussions are underway. The good news is county residents will not pay for improvements catering to growth in Park City.

An effective master plan for county roads helps in negotiations with the state, however. For example, the realignment of Landmark Drive allowed traffic to flow more smoothly on S.R. 224.

Park City planners have suggested a carpool or toll lane on S.R. 224, and many in the area would like to see a bicycle lane.

View Short-term transportation projects in a larger map

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