Elevated sidewalk to link Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook | ParkRecord.com

Elevated sidewalk to link Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook

Orange cones have been rerouting traffic at the Jeremy Ranch exit on Interstate 80 for the past couple of weeks as crews have started constructing a pedestrian walkway to connect the Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook neighborhoods.

Derrick Radke, Summit County public works director, said the project will produce an elevated sidewalk on the east side of Homestead Road, linking the two neighborhoods. Radke said it will be about 30 inches off the ground, eight feet wide and equipped with a handrail and concrete retaining wall. The elevated sidewalk replaces a much smaller path that exposed pedestrians to oncoming traffic, Radke said.

"I think it will go a long way to make a safer and more comfortable crossing," Radke said. "It won’t be perfect, but it will work."

Construction on the pathway began about two weeks ago. It started days after Radke and Caroline Ferris, Summit County regional transportation coordinator, addressed more than 40 Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook-area residents at an informal open house-style meeting to discuss potential traffic and pedestrian improvements in the area.

Radke said the feedback from the meeting was overwhelmingly positive regarding the suggested improvements, especially the pedestrian connections.

"The majority of comments asked us to make as many of the crossings off-grade, like tunnels, as much as we possibly can," Radke said.

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Once the sidewalk is complete, roadside pathways will be constructed to connect it to the neighborhoods. On the Jeremy side, it will connect to the underpass at the Jeremy Ranch Elementary School. On the Pinebrook side, it will connect to the underpass and lead to the four-way stop.

The project is scheduled to be complete within the next several weeks. Radke said the pavement has to be laid by the middle of October.

County officials began pursuing funding for the project in 2014. The county was granted two grants from the Utah Department of Transportation’s Region 2 to complete a safe-sidewalk project in early 2015, Radke said. The grant’s produced about $190,000 and the county provided about $111,000.

The sidewalk project is the only improvement that is immediately planned for the area, Radke said, before adding, "In the long range we will look at other things."

In the interim, Radke said he will initiate conversations with UDOT to talk about securing funding to construct two roundabouts at the entrance of each neighborhood to relieve the stress at the intersections.

The roundabouts have been identified in the county’s capital facilities plan. Radke said impact fees have been set aside for 2016 to fund it. It is slated for late 2016 or early 2017.

"With trying to partner with UDOT, it may take a little longer and it could be 2017 before we get funding for the roundabouts," Radke said. "The pedestrian connection is something we wanted to get started on and done in the interim."