Basin installs mood lighting along Millenium Trail
As soon as the sun starts to set behind the Wasatch Mountains, several dozen solar-powered lights begin emitting a glow along a portion of the Millennium Trail. From a distance, it looks like floating yellow balls illuminating the trail as it snakes through the open space beneath Utah Olympic Parkway.
The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District recently began installing the lights along the newly completed portion of the 10-foot wide asphalt trail starts that at Utah Olympic Parkway and connects with the existing trail system near the Liberty Peak Apartments. It was completed in August.
Once complete, the $15,000 project will provide lighting for nearly a mile of the Millennium Trail, starting near the State Road 224 and Ute Boulevard intersection. It was completed using money from the 2010 Trails and Open Space bond, which also funded the completion of the Millennium Trail.
Not everyone has time to access the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District trails during the day, says Bob Radke, Snyderville Basin Trails Department Manager.
"Hopefully we have created something that people can use in the evening if that’s their only time of the day to go out there," Radke said. "After the first night we put them in, I went to go look at them and there were people out there walking their dogs as part of their normal routine. So hopefully we are providing a lighted area where people can walk their dogs and do evening exercises."
A few months ago, the Summit County Council expressed interest in the idea of installing solar lighting along the trails in the Snyderville Basin trial system, inspiring the project. Radke said it took time to find the style of lights that would perform in a non-obtrusive manner and wouldn’t be overly visible from a distance.
"They are not very bright, they are low to the ground and they are kind of directional in that they just light the area on the ground," Radke said. "Hopefully they are welcomed."
Over the next year, the Recreation District will examine the trail use and the impacts of the lights before considering placing them in other locations, Radke said.
"I think we will see how it pans out and see how the feedback goes and we might consider them in other areas or maybe some higher-use areas," Radke said. "I think it will be a good experiment for a year to see how it works and what we hear back from the community."
Radke said he hopes to finish installing the lights within the next couple of weeks.
For more information about trails in the Snyderville Basin, go to http://basinrecreation.org/basin_trails.html#top.
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