Summit County seeking community input on long-range transportation plan
The first phase includes 23 projects with a $180 million price tag through 2030
Residents living on the East and West sides of Summit County will soon have the chance to voice their opinions about several costly projects proposed by the county’s engineers.
The Summit County Engineering Department is slated to host two open houses, one in Kamas and one in Kimball Junction, to discuss the county’s long-range transportation plan, which considers the next 30 years. Community members are invited to attend the sessions to learn more about the county’s transportation needs, how the projects will address them and then offer suggestions.
“The long-range transportation plan is meant to provide solutions for residents,” Mike Kendall, a county engineer, said. “We’re asking, ‘Do they make sense?’”
County staffers said it’s important for residents to participate in the open house because they may have ideas that were overlooked. Kendall said everyone has unique traffic patterns they create, and that insight may be useful in tweaking certain proposals.
The first open house, slated for Wednesday, May 18, at the Kamas Services Building, will focus on East Side projects. County engineers will explain the projects and present the options put together by staffers, including maps and other images. Participants are also invited to leave comments or possibly draw on the displays.
Residents living near S.R. 32 between 2700 North and the northeast corner of Main Street and East 300 North are highly encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about a decades-old trail project that is scheduled to start construction later this year. Attendees will be able to fill out worksheets and provide input on how the path should travel through Kamas’ Main Street and to the park and ride.
The second open house is scheduled for West Side residents on May 19 at the Richins Building. This meeting will focus on projects like the separation of Kimball Junction at Ute Boulevard and Olympic Parkway, which would create structures at S.R. 224 that keep the roads from intersecting, as well as a trail along Old Ranch Road and others.
There will also be a separate event at a later date to discuss the Bitner Road to Silver Creek Connector project. This project would include constructing a new two-lane road and grade-separated trail for roadway improvements. It would also help enhance the community’s circulation and improve emergency access.
Kendall said he wants residents to understand how the Engineering Department created its plan, which was developed using the county’s current traffic model and growth projections. He added that transportation is about promoting safe movement between places and doesn’t require a vehicle or roadway.
County engineers anticipate a mix of positive and negative reactions to the projects proposed in the county’s long-range transportation plan, but Kendall hopes to create a dialogue where residents can ask questions and share their opinions. He said around 20 projects will be discussed during the open houses, and the presentations will be similar to ensure adequate representation for the entire community.
“Most of us visit all parts of the county,” Kendall said. “The input we need isn’t just for the East or West side – it’s what’s best for the public.”
He said there wouldn’t be many changes to the proposals because they’re well established, but county engineers are willing to incorporate good ideas that are brought forward. The projects were already introduced to the Summit County Council during a work session in early April, and elected leaders advised the Engineering Department to hold a public hearing.
After the open houses, county staffers will bring a staff report that’s been revised with comments from the meetings back to the County Council. Elected officials will then vote on whether to adopt the long-range transportation plan, which includes a $180 million price tag for 23 projects through 2030. The plan also includes a second phase, which spans from 2030 to 2040, and phase three, which runs from 2040 to 2050.
Kendall praised the county’s community outreach group for raising awareness about the open houses and said he hopes there’s a decent turnout for the events.
“We don’t want to be unprepared for the future. We know we have a few traffic issues in the county, and this plan is supposed to help us fix our current issues as well as those coming forward,” Kendall said. “It just makes for a better quality of life.”
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With the possibility of the 2030 Winter Olympics being awarded next May, Park City and Summit County leaders are poised to give residents the chance to share their opinions in the coming months.