Would you like a coffee with your roadwork, Parkites?
The Silver King Coffee kiosk, serving hot and cool drinks, sits just steps away from Kearns Boulevard, one of the busiest streets in Park City and one of the stretches of road that will be under construction soon.
On Monday, as road crews started to mobilize outside the kiosk, Garth Holmoe, the Silver King Coffee owner, contemplated what effects the coming disruption will have on his business. A drive thru, Silver King Coffee relies on motorists for its sales. The roadwork could both reduce traffic as drivers find other routes and convince others to not stop as they navigate through a construction zone.
"I need my road, for sure. It’s our business flow . . . It is our business," Holmoe said, indicating that nearly all of his customers, perhaps 95 percent, drive to Silver King Coffee.
He said the kiosk, open since last summer, could manage if the roadwork closest to Silver King Coffee lasts no longer than the five days that the Utah Department of Transportation anticipates. If there are delays, the situation could become troublesome, Holmoe said.
"We’ve got a very reliable, very consistent, local traffic flow that I hope not to lose for that period," he said.
Park City businesses are preparing for the start of the work, which is scheduled on Friday. In a rare scenario, state transportation officials will be working on S.R. 224 and S.R. 248 inside the Park City limits in the same project, meaning that there will likely be traffic headaches along both of the entryways. Businesses along the densely developed corridors could suffer.
The work on S.R. 224 will run from the Old Town roundabout to the Kearns Boulevard intersection while the S.R. 248 work will involve the section between the S.R. 224 intersection and Park City High School. The $3 million project entails grinding down four inches of road and then putting down a new layer of asphalt. The roads will remain open throughout the project, but they will be reduced to one lane at some points. Delays are expected.
A Department of Transportation official plans to brief Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council during a Thursday meeting. Jason Davis, the Department of Transportation director for the region that includes Park City, is scheduled to spend 15 minutes speaking to the elected officials starting at 4:30 p.m.
A flier outlining the project describes a schedule of major work running through the week of June 27. Sealing will be applied and road stripes will be painted over the course of six days following the major work, according to the schedule.
Bill Malone, the president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, said he is not more concerned about the work this year than he has been during other state road projects in the past. He said the work will not discourage people heading to Park City from locations outside Utah, such as from Southern California and Phoenix, but Utahns might reconsider a day trip to Park City during the work.
"I think they’re accustomed to facing road construction projects wherever they go," Malone said.
He said the projected lodging occupancy in June as of the end of April was up significantly from the previous June. The numbers are traditionally low in June, however, and this year’s projections forecast the occupancy rate to be less than 20 percent, Malone said.
On Main Street, businesses are pleased that roads to Old Town will remain open during the work. Alison Butz, the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, said, the businesses realize summer brings road construction.
"It’s going to impact anyone from employees to visitors to locals," she said.
The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a City Hall workforce or otherwise restricted housing development slated for the northern reaches of Old Town.