Independent review of Kilby Road reveals design flaws
The results of an independent review of Kilby Road revealed a handful of design flaws that prompted Summit County’s Public Works Director Derrick Radke to admit on Monday, “We made some errors.”
Summit County’s elected officials requested the review from an independent engineering firm after the county was inundated with complaints about the road’s snake-like design. People criticizing the design claimed it was unsafe, particularly for cyclists. Summit County Manager Tom Fisher approved a $2,330 contract with RB&G Engineering, Inc. in November.
The county released the Provo-based engineering firm’s six-page report on Friday. Radke said it was completed about a month ago, but scheduling conflicts delayed the report being presented to the County Council. Elected officials are scheduled to review the report on Wednesday.
The county designed the road to handle additional traffic the remote parking lot across from Ecker Hill Middle School was expected to draw, as well as reduce speeding and accommodate cyclists. Raised medians, bike lanes and turning lanes were added as part of the road’s new design. The work was finished late last summer.
According to the report, some of the westbound and eastbound lane shifts, or tapers, do not meet accepted standards, certain areas need to be restriped, and the wheelchair ramps at the Pinebrook Boulevard intersection and the Elk Meadows Apartment driveway are not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We made some design errors. We’ll own up to that,” Radke said. “It’s our fault. My fault, definitely. But, the thing is most people are not going to notice the difference when we fix it.”
Radke said there are three spots in the westbound lane where the curves were not designed correctly for the speed of the road. He said the curves are supposed to have certain radiuses based on speed. For a 30 mph road, the radius of a curve is supposed to be 277 feet. But, the county only measured to 150 feet, which may explain why cars have had difficulty staying in the lane, he said.
“There is one point that is worse than others and it is a bad spot. Definitely a bad error on our part,” he said. “People will notice a difference there when we come in and paint the line where it is supposed to be, it will flatten out the curve. The other two spots were off less than a foot.”
Shortly after the road was complete, the county made other minor adjustments based on feedback from the cyclist community, adding pavement to widen the westbound bike lanes in certain locations. However, some claimed the lanes were still not wide enough. Radke noted that the report stated the bikes lanes were all in compliance with standards.
“Even though we have the errors in the alignment, when we fix that we will still have 5-foot bike lanes everywhere, except a couple spots where they go under 5 feet,” he said. “But, it will still be greater than (the necessary)4 feet.”
The Public Works Department anticipates fixing the issues once temperatures warm up. Radke said they need to have consistent pavement temperatures in the 50s to complete the work.
Radke said the complaints about the road have somewhat subsided over the winter. He said there have been a few calls about traffic backing up onto the road during drop-off or pick-up at Ecker Hill Middle School. But, that has been rare.
Radke maintains the new road has accomplished one of its goals of slowing people down. He said it is unclear whether it can handle the capacity of a full park-and-ride lot. But, he added, more than 300 cars were parked there during the Sundance Film Festival last month and there were no reported issues.
“I think we have accomplished everything we tried to do,” he said. “But, we did we make a couple errors, yes, and I will own up to it.”
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