County passes transportation plan
June 28, 2013
The plan for Eastern Summit County’s roads and trails is now set through 2040, with 115 projects planned that could prove to be vital for the east side, one of which is a possible expansion of S.R. 32 from Oakley to Kamas.
Needed road and trail projects for the coming years are outlined in the recently approved Eastern Summit County Transportation Master Plan (passed as Ordinance No. 808). Summit County Transportation Engineer Kent Wilkerson, the driving force behind the plan, spoke about the plan’s functions.
"First, it identifies the growth expected. Once that’s identified, we can see how much traffic capacity we need at different locations," Wilkerson said.
The most notable project is the S.R. 32 corridor from Oakley to Francis, which was identified in the plan as needing additional capacity. He said that a tool called a ‘travel demand model’ can predict what impact a particular project would have.
"Using the tools plan, we identify that we should make [S.R. 32] from Oakley to Kamas a four-lane road with two lanes going each way," Wilkerson said. "[S.R. 32] from Kamas to Francis will extend Lambert Ln. to S.R. 248, and we could make a four-lane road from Kamas to Francis."
Although there are a great number of roadway construction projects, Wilkerson says a substantial number of them are trail-based.
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"The interaction of trail users is the driving force for the plan," Wilkerson said. "This tries to address all transportation, even wildlife."
Projects in the works would construct, widen and maintain many of the trails in the region. One of the projects proposed is a 10-foot-wide multi-use trail that would follow Hoytsville Rd. from Coalville to Wanship, and another would add signing and striping to the Browns Canyon bike lane from S.R. 32 to S.R. 248.
As well as pedestrian use, the plan addresses those trails used for cycling, horseback riding and all-terrain vehicles. Using the Utah Department of Transportation’s road ratings as well as traffic counts, the county can decide which roadways need work in the future.
Another issue of concern for Wilkerson is Democrat Alley, which has been a frequently used access route to Lambert Ln. into Francis. He says currently there is not enough traffic on the street to make it a "substantial roadway," but that he could see it needing improvements in the future. He believes there will be enough traffic on Democrat Alley to justify paving the rest of the road.
Another important project is the possible connection of Chalk Creek Rd. to Mirror Lake Hwy. 150, which leads into the Uintas.
Currently, the only points of access to S.R. 150 (the Mirror Lake Highway) are from Kamas and Evanston, Wyoming. Connecting Chalk Creek Rd. to S.R. 150 would provide better access to the Uintas for those coming from the Coalville area. Wilkerson noted, however, that cost is a huge concern for this possible connection.
The Transportation Master Plan has many goals, including improving roads and trails at minimal cost and considering trip reduction measures. The county will also address transportation issues at the regional and community levels, working with UDOT as well as all communities in the east side of the county.
Wilkerson said he hopes that all of the towns can work together to maximize the potential of the region’s roads and trails, and he recognized the concerted effort of all parties involved.
"This hasn’t been just a Summit County project," Wilkerson said. "All the communities in Eastern Summit County have pitched in."
Some notable Phase 1 projects that the Transportation Plan proposes include:
Some notable Phase 2 projects include: