Road projects going well
Summer road work in Western Summit County has been coming along as planned, as several key projects have been or will be completed. The county’s budget cuts, however, have stalled smaller but important side projects that have been requested.
One of the most noticeable projects that has been completed is the roundabout on Newpark Blvd. Summit County Public Works Director Kevin Callahan said the project, which was being done in a "tough area," was successful and that it will be a "nice feature over time."
Other projects such as the Canyons Resort Drive roundabout and the Lower Village Rd. extension are also coming along well, Callahan said, considering both are high-traffic areas. Work is also being done on another section of Parkview Avenue in Summit Park where traffic must be rerouted around the neighborhood.
"Summit Park is a little behind, but we hope to have it open by school bus season," said Summit County Engineer Derrick Radke.
Because of a tax referendum last year, the county was forced to defer $770,000 in road projects. The current uncertainty regarding the proposed rate increase of the County Municipal Fund tax later this month has forced the county to not budget in projects such as curbs, gutters, sidewalks and pothole repairs that have been requested.
"That work is contingent on the August tax increase and the period where it could be challenged," Callahan said. "It could be risky to budget to do that work."
Radke also warns that deferring projects for too long will drastically increase costs to the county.
"Inflation costs a few percent a year. If you put [projects] off more than five years, costs go up significantly by factors of 10," Radke said.
Callahan addressed the effect that deferring projects can have on the quality of roads in the county.
"It’s incremental. Things don’t fall apart in the course of one year. We can hold off on doing things for a year or a couple of years. It also depends on the winter cycle," Callahan said.
Projects that the county hopes to start in the near future according to Radke include a roundabout at the Silver Creek and Silver Summit exchange near Home Depot as well as work on both a section near Summit Park and a section of Old Ranch Rd.
Work on most road construction projects in the county can be expected to be completed between Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, Radke said. Side work on the Summit Park project he said can be expected to be finished near mid-September.
"Everything we set aside is working pretty well," Callahan said. "There’s always something that slows you down. Overall things have been great."
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$1 million in CARES Act funding has been set aside for Summit County nonprofits, and the Park City Community Foundation is working to organize the fund and how to choose recipients. The goal is to start accepting applications Oct. 14.