UDOT envisions expanding S.R. 248 in Park City to five lanes
The Utah Department of Transportation has outlined a preferred alternative for the future of the S.R. 248 entryway that calls for the expansion of the state highway to five lanes, a project that would be one of the most significant road improvements in Park City in decades and one that would be driven by projections of dramatic traffic increases in coming years.
The upcoming discussions about the 3.1-mile stretch of S.R. 248 between the U.S. 40 interchange and the intersection with S.R. 224 will almost certainly be closely watched by various interest groups, including commuters who use the state highway, people who live in Prospector, City Hall and the Park City School District.
S.R. 248 serves as the route in and out of Park City for many people who live in parts of the Snyderville Basin, the East Side of Summit County and Wasatch County. The Park City School District campus is also along the road, further complicating the rush hours. The backups on S.R. 248 are some of the worst in the community, and there have been ongoing complaints about lines of vehicles extending from Prospector to east of U.S. 40 during the morning commute.
State transportation officials control the future of the road and are working with City Hall as they prepare for the possibility of an expansion project. The preferred alternative would turn S.R. 248 between the two intersections into a five-lane road through the entire route. It currently ranges from three lanes to five lanes. A five-lane design would have two lanes in each direction with a turning lane at most of the intersections. There would be two left-turn lanes at the intersections with S.R. 224 and Bonanza Drive. Bicycle lanes would be created along the entire route.
The Department of Transportation estimates the work will cost $60 million. The state has earmarked $10 million of the total. A timeline, including the year the work would start, is not set. The officials are crafting designs that will be modeled on the traffic that is projected on S.R. 248 in 2040. The Utah Department of Transportation does not recommend leaving the road in its current state, known as a no-build option.
According to the Department of Transportation, it currently takes drivers 9.8 minutes to travel the S.R. 248 entryway inbound during the morning rush hour. That figure would climb to 20 minutes by 2040 if no improvements were made to S.R. 248. Under the preferred alternative, the time would drop slightly, to 9 minutes, in 2040, during the morning rush hour, the state Department of Transportation calculates.
During the afternoon rush hour, traveling on S.R. 248 from the S.R. 224 intersection to U.S. 40, takes 5.4 minutes. That would increase to 8.4 minutes by 2040 without improvements to the road, according to the Department of Transportation. The preferred alternative would result in a travel time of 6.4 minutes in 2040, according to the projections.
A draft environmental assessment prepared in anticipation of the upcoming discussions says the section of the road, as it is currently designed, suffers “a bottleneck . . . on both ends of the corridor resulting in congestion and delays.”
“If no improvements were made by 2040, the problem would continue to degrade as the corridor would be over capacity, and all intersections along the corridor would fail,” the environmental assessment says.
It also says a secondary need for the project is based on City Hall’s own transportation and traffic-fighting goals.
The preferred alternative would require the full acquisition of one parcel of 0.8 acres and the partial acquisitions of 30 parcels totaling 3.6 acres. The environmental assessment indicates three tenants in a building at 750 Kearns Blvd. would need to be relocated as part of the work.
An open house with the project team is scheduled on Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Treasure Mountain Junior High. More information, including the draft of the environmental assessment, is available on the project website: udot.utah.gov/SR248improved.
Lochner c/o SR-248 EA
3995 South 700 East, Suite 450
Salt Lake City, UT
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