Summit County prepares for Jeremy Ranch interchange project
A major construction project that is expected to impact thousands of residents in Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook is set to begin later this spring.
Krachel Murdock, Summit County’s spokeswoman, said the project to reconstruct the Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook interchanges on Homestead Road will likely start around May and is scheduled to last through the fall.
Summit County unveiled a page on the county website earlier this week to provide residents with information about the project. The page provides a limited overview of construction, as well as the funding. It lists contact information for the project team and will later include weekly traffic information, Murdock said.
County officials created the website after soliciting advice from the community about ways to better inform and update drivers about construction. Murdock said officials learned from the Kilby Road project, which drew consternation from commuters during the work.
“Given the size and scope of this project, we thought it was necessary to put together a more enhanced plan to update the community on a daily basis as we get deep into construction to let them know how daily detours will impact them,” she said.
Summit County officials began discussing an interchange project with the Utah Department of Transportation more than 10 years ago before eventually deciding to move forward with the roundabout design in 2015. The roundabouts are intended to improve the flow of traffic and accommodate an increase in capacity that is expected through 2050.
“The idea of two roundabouts has been identified as the most effective solution for the interchange,” Murdock said. “The roundabouts have been designed with projected future growth in mind and will serve as a long-term solution for managing traffic at the interchange.”
The county and UDOT are funding the bulk of the estimated $10.6 million project. The county plans to use revenue from the 2016 voter-approved transportation sales tax initiative and a bond against those revenues to pay for its portion of construction.
The project will include two roundabouts, a separated trail and accommodations for pedestrians. Murdock said the roundabouts will be five times the size of current, existing roundabouts in the county.
“I don’t think people realize the size and scope of how big they are going to be,” she said. “When you think of the number of car entrances and exits (six) they are going to be wider and bigger than what you see in Tanger Outlets or in Park City.”
The county wants the roundabouts to be constructed simultaneously over the summer. However, a construction contract has not been awarded yet, Murdock said. She encouraged residents in the surrounding neighborhoods to sign up for regular email updates at email@example.com. She said the emails will let commuters know what the traffic pattern is expected to be in the coming weeks once construction starts.
“Of course there will be some responsibility that falls back on the community like planning ahead and leaving early,” she said. “Construction is a hassle for anyone and this is a huge project. That goes back to why we felt it was necessary to come out with a robust communications plan.
“We are impacting thousands of people who live directly off of those two exits,” she added. “It is imperative we have ways to provide drivers with updates via text, mobile or weekly emails.”
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.