June 9, 2007
Park City Councilman Joe Kernan wants to consider building a tunnel into Park City as a way to cut traffic on S.R. 248.
S.R. 248, which is known as Kearns Boulevard in Park City, is the target of numerous complaints about traffic backups.
The idea: Kernan admits the tunnel idea is in its formative stages and he does not provide many details. Costs could run toward $100 million, how it is paid for is unclear and a route has not been decided. It would likely take years of planning efforts, official talks and deal making before work could start.
Why: Commuters from the East Side of Summit County and Wasatch County, many moving there to avoid Park City’s expensive housing market, drive the road each workday. Widening S.R. 248 on the city’s entryway, though, is seen as unlikely because a steep mountainside is on one side of the highway and wetlands are on the other.
The traffic: Private-sector consultants in fall 2005, Park City’s off-season, determined weekday traffic on S.R. 248 near Quinn’s Junction totaled 15,405 cars. Parkites and commuters have complained that the traffic on the road has quickly increased in recent years. The backups are worst during the busy ski season.