Summit County plans major upgrades for Snyderville Basin roads
Critical upgrades are scheduled to begin this summer on several major roads and intersections in the Snyderville Basin under the transportation and transit sales tax initiatives Summit County voters approved in 2016.
The county touted the sales taxes as a way to generate revenue for transportation-related improvements, and voters overwhelmingly agreed the funds were needed. The taxes were proposed after the County Council identified the creation of a connected transportation system and reduction of traffic congestion as strategic objectives.
Some of the prioritized projects that were highlighted during the campaign included access to park-and-ride lots and intersection upgrades, including improvements to the Jeremy Ranch interchange.
All three projects are scheduled to move forward beginning this summer. An open house was held on Tuesday at the Sheldon Richins Building, after a presentation to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission. The open house allowed the public an opportunity to learn more about the Jeremy Ranch project and other capital improvements.
County staffers are scheduled to go before the County Council on March 21 to receive the green light to begin the projects. Another open house will follow the presentation in the lower level of the Sheldon Richins Building at around 6 p.m.
“We want to solicit comments and see if there is something we are missing,” said Derrick Radke, public works director. “We want to see if they think we are wasting money or whatever they want to say about it. Hopefully, there are some positive comments, but if there are some that are negative, we might learn something.”
One of the first projects the county has planned would turn the Ecker View Area on Kilby Road across from Ecker Hill Middle school into a park-and-ride lot. It is intended to capture commuters coming into Park City from Interstate 80. The lot would have space for about 450 cars, including 200 parking spots for employees at the Canyons Village at Park City Mountain Resort.
Construction could start as early as mid-June and be complete sometime during the fall, Radke said. Commuters would use Kilby Road to access the park-and-ride lot, making improvements to Kilby Road also necessary to maintain a steady flow of traffic and prevent congestion, according to a county staff report. The road will remain one lane in each direction. However, bike and shoulder lanes will be added. “We are planning improvements to Kilby Road that are centered on improving each of the intersections,” Radke said. “We will be adding left and right turn lane pockets, as well as acceleration lanes.”
The Kilby Road improvements are expected to be complete in conjunction with the construction of the park-and-ride lot, Radke said. But, he acknowledged that the County Council was weary of pursuing the Ecker Hill view area as the first park-and-ride project.
“I’m hoping after this meeting with the Council, I will have some definitive direction,” he said.
Both of the projects will support the installation of roundabouts at the Jeremy Ranch interchange. Radke said the need for traffic mitigation at that intersection was realized nearly 10 years ago, but the funding wasn’t available.
The construction of the roundabouts at the entrance of Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook is estimated to cost $3.1 million. UDOT is providing $1.9 million and an additional $1 million was provided through a federal grant. The remaining cost will be supported through transportation impact fees and a $22 million transportation bond the county is close to approving. The other projects will be paid for through the bond.
Construction of the roundabouts was supposed to start this spring, but has been delayed due to wetland mitigation requirements. It is now scheduled to commence in the fall. Details about the actual construction dates and anticipated closures are not available yet, Radke said.
The three projects will kick off a series of improvements that are anticipated as part of the county’s long-range transportation plans.
“All of these projects are designed to improve opportunities for alternative modes of transportation,” Radke said.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.