Summit County Council green lights transit center at Kimball Junction | ParkRecord.com

Summit County Council green lights transit center at Kimball Junction

The Summit County Council on Wednesday gave the Public Works Department and Park City Transit the green light to motor ahead with a Kimball Junction transit center.

The facility, projected to cost $2.4 million, would be built on a three-acre site just west of the Sheldon Richins Building on West Ute Blvd. It would include space for up to 10 buses, a 2,500-square-foot transit building and approximately 20 park-and-ride spaces.

"I’ve been the one saying hold off on this, but when I look at this I see this as a no-regrets place to start," County Councilman Chris Robinson said. "Regardless of what happens, I think it’s a great first start."

The County Council verbally gave their approval for the project to move forward.

The design chosen for the facility is known as a slant drive concept, identified by consultants CRSA and Lochner in 2012. The buses would travel northbound on Landmark Drive to enter the facility and would exit on Ute Blvd.

Officials say the transit center would feature an outdoor plaza, access to Wi-Fi, arrival and departure boards, shelters and landscaping.

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The transit center is not intended to encourage a park-and-ride system in the Kimball Junction area. Instead, it is meant to offer quicker travel times into Park City.

"I see it as a circulatory system," said Derrick Radke, Summit County Public Works Department director. "We’re trying to make it quicker and more efficient to get people in and out."

County Council Chair Kim Carson said the transit center is a necessity to create a more efficient bus system.

"I think we have to start somewhere and we need this," Carson said.

The need for a Kimball Junction transit facility was identified in a 2007 Summit County/Park City Short-Range Transit Plan, according to a County Courthouse staff report prepared in anticipation of the meeting.

The report states that the current transit system carries 2 million passengers per year with nearly one-third of riders starting and ending in the Snyderville Basin.

"This facility is crucial to the realignment of county routes to provide enhanced frequency and efficiency and also to support planned development in the Kimball Junction area," Radke said.

Kent Cashel, long-range transportation planner with City Hall, said the Kimball Junction area is a "critical spot for the transit center."

"There is no more valuable of a place for this to be situated and it is going to play a role well into the future," Cashel said. "There will likely be expansions, but I think this is in the core of your development."

A conditional-use permit for the transit center was approved in 2012. The county has been granted several extensions of the permit but postponed the project to await the completion of the Snyderville Basin Long-Range Transportation study.

Park City Transit was recently awarded a $1.7 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration for the construction of the $2.4 million project. The County Council contributed $500,000 and Park City Transit provided $95,000.

Radke estimated construction on the transit center could be completed within a few months.

"I don’t know why we can’t build the whole thing in a couple of months," he said. "It’s a really fairly simple design and I don’t see a lot of time in it."

County Councilman Roger Armstrong said moving forward with the transit center is an important step in beginning to address and solve the transportation issues in the Snyderville Basin.

"The most important thing we can do right now is to identify transit centers because they will drive the other stuff," Armstrong said.