S.R. 248 will remain under construction until this fall | ParkRecord.com

S.R. 248 will remain under construction until this fall

A shoulder bus lane and a traffic light at Richardson Flat Road are also included in project

Construction cones are distributed in an eastbound lane on S.R. 248, shutting down the sidewalk along the popular road, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

Orange barrels are lining Kearns Boulevard, a sight that will persist in some form until early September, at least, as part of a repavement project that will include a traffic light at Richardson Flat Road and a future element of Park City’s planned bus rapid transit system.

The construction work began Tuesday and is set to move eastward to Comstock Drive and U.S. 40, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

Brian Allen, who is managing the $2.9 million project for UDOT, said the agency will maintain at least one travel lane in each direction for the duration of the project.

The project includes repaving the length of S.R. 248 from S.R. 224 to U.S. 40. That milling and overlaying will only take a few nights, Allen said, and will likely be completed in August.

The initial work started at the intersection of S.R. 248 and S.R. 224 with crews replacing what are known as “curb cuts,” areas where sidewalks contact a street or driveway.

Construction cones are distributed in an eastbound lane on S.R. 248, shutting down the sidewalk along the popular road, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

Allen said the pedestrian ramps will be made to conform to federal standards with ramps that are less steep and textured areas for those who are visually impaired.

After the paving portion of the project is complete, UDOT is planning to install a traffic light at the intersection of Richardson Flat Road and S.R. 248, Allen said. He added that the light should be installed before winter.

The overall project is set to be completed the first week of September, according to a UDOT spokesperson.

A substantial part of the project is widening a 700-foot section of S.R. 248 as it curves near the intersection with Richardson Flat Road.

The widening will extend the road outward toward Silver Creek — not toward PC Hill — and will accommodate a shoulder-running bus lane officials plan to incorporate on the opposite, inbound side of the road.

That bus lane could be a future component of a bus rapid transit system, which officials hope can be a long-term solution for the area’s traffic problems.

That system remains years away and involves costly infrastructure investment. In the meantime, the lane could be used to run buses from a proposed park-and-ride lot at Quinn’s Junction, according to Alex Roy, a Park City senior transportation planner.

Park City Engineer John Robertson said that the city hopes to begin construction on that park-and-ride lot this spring.

On peak traffic days, when there are special events or on busy ski days, officials could run a bus from the park-and-ride into town and move past traffic until Comstock Drive, where it would integrate back into the one lane heading into town.

“That’s the idea,” he said. “On those kinds of days, when it’s backed up, move back over into the dedicated bus lane, bypass all that traffic that’s generally stopped in those areas.”

Roy said a decision about how to use the bus lane hasn’t been made yet, but that officials are embarking on a short-range transit plan which includes considering expanding service to Quinn’s Junction.

A UDOT spokesperson said that a traffic light planned a few miles down S.R. 248 at the intersection of Browns Canyon Road is scheduled to be completed by this fall, as well.

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