Tunnel open house scheduled
June 4, 2010
City Hall officials on Tuesday are scheduled to hold an open house designed for people interested in the upcoming construction of a pedestrian-bicyclist tunnel underneath Kearns Boulevard, one of two such tunnels that Park City plans to build this year.
The event is slated from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the cafe at Treasure Mountain International School.
Matt Cassel, the Park City engineer, said work on the tunnel will start as early as next week. The work will intensify quickly afterward, he said. The Park City Council recently awarded a contract for just more than $1 million for the construction of the tunnel. Park City officials, the contractor and construction managers are expected to attend the Treasure Mountain open house.
The tunnel designs call for a 110-foot passage that will be built 13 feet below the ground. It will be built at the Comstock Drive intersection, a location selected for its proximity to the Park City School District schools complex on Kearns Boulevard. It is expected that many students will use the tunnel on their way to and from school.
City Hall is funding the work with money from a voter-authorized bond measure passed in an effort to make Park City a safer place for pedestrians, bicyclists and others who are not driving vehicles. Cassel said approximately $3 million had been budgeted for the work, meaning that upward of $2 million could be left over from the budgeted amount since the contract is worth approximately $1 million.
Cassel anticipates the tunnel opening no later than October, in time for the bulk of the next school year.
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Utah transportation officials have been highly involved in the planning for the work since Kearns Boulevard is part of the state highway system. The city engineer said the Utah Department of Transportation will require the crews to keep open one lane of traffic on Kearns Boulevard at all times. Cassel said there could be traffic delays, however.
The tunnel underneath Kearns Boulevard is one of two scheduled to be built this year, with the other one being underneath Bonanza Drive close to the Rail Trail. The Bonanza Drive pedestrian-bicyclist tunnel will also be funded by the bond measure.
The Tuesday open house, meanwhile, will also address a scheduled installation of a water line close to the Rail Trail along Park City’s entryway. The work is anticipated to start in mid-July. Officials said they do not plan closures of that section of the Rail Trail, but there could be intermittent detours.