Two major projects underway on critical frontage road in the Snyderville Basin
Summit County is asking drivers to have little bit of patience over the next several months as two major construction projects get underway along a critical frontage road in the Snyderville Basin.
The county started construction last week on a park-and-ride lot across from Ecker Hill Middle School on Kilby Road. Crews are simultaneously widening the road from Ecker Hill to Jeremy Ranch to handle the additional traffic the remote parking lot will likely create. Drivers on Interstate 80 will access the lot from the Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook exits via Kilby Road.
The construction is expected to last through mid-October. Once finished, the lot will have about 450 spaces and include a transit connection to the Kimball Junction transit center.
Construction of a pedestrian underpass is included in the project and will be complete around the same time. The underpass will allow people to walk beneath Kilby Road between the parking lot and Ecker Hill Middle School.
Summit County Councilors were originally skeptical about constructing a remote parking lot near the Ecker view area, with many thinking the county should pursue other locations such as Richardson Flat or the Park City Tech Center. Richardson Flat is considered a park-and-ride lot, but transit does not regularly provide service there. But, Council members switched gears and opted to support the project.
“We have to start somewhere,” said Council Chair Kim Carson. “I don’t think it is the perfect solution, but living in a mountain town there is not a lot of open land, and I think we need to take advantage of what we have. Hopefully, other opportunities will arise.”
Staffers and County Council members initially contemplated the idea of building an interchange to connect the Ecker view area with Interstate 80. But, they later discovered it was not financially feasible. Carson said having a remote parking lot with access on Kilby Road will help with the congestion around Ecker Hill Middle School and improve the parking situation during school events.
County Council member Chris Robinson was the one who voiced the most concern about the Ecker park-and-ride lot. But, he said he thinks it is the “right one to do now.”
“We don’t have a lot of other options,” he said.
Robinson highlighted the county’s agreement with the Canyons Village Management Association as one of the main reasons he came on board with the idea. The agreement stipulates that about 100 spaces will initially be reserved for employees of the CVMA, with the potential of adding another 100 spots.
As part of the agreement, the CVMA also agreed to help fund about $5.5 million of the project to build the lot and improve Kilby Road.
“My concerns were alleviated by having the funds from the CVMA,” he said. “I think that makes a difference because before I was hearing that the businesses didn’t want to sign up and now we have a signed parking agreement.”
The work to widen Kilby Road is expected to take at least a couple weeks, according to Derrick Radke, Summit County’s public works director. He said Summit Water Distribution will also be replacing a waterline at the same time.
Crews are expected to maintain two lanes of travel during non-working hours, Radke said. He said the widening of the north side of the road will be completed first. Traffic will then be diverted to the new section of the road while medians and turn lanes are added.
“Once it’s done, at each intersection there will be a right turn pocket, acceleration lane and a left turn pocket,” he said. “The medians will provide that boulevard feel and the roundabouts will also help slow down traffic.”
Radke said Kilby Road will be closed for a 48-hour period while the underpass is under construction. However, he was unable to provide a timeline. Signage will alert drivers of the impending closure.
“It’s narrower,” he said. “We hope drivers will watch for cyclists. It’s still open to cyclists, but everyone needs to remember they will have to share a lane. We just ask that everyone be careful and patient.”
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The Tech Center development proposal seems to have entered a new phase, after county councilors indicated their receptiveness to the more ambitious proposals offered by the developers in their original application, including a new transit center.