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Joint effort underway to keep Marsac Ave plowed


Park City officials met Wednesday with the Utah Department of Transportation, Deer Valley, hotels including The Montage and homeowners associations affected by the recent closure of Marsac Ave.

The meeting drilled down into the recent plowing problem on Marsac, and Park City Manager Matt Dias said the outcome was a short-term plan. All of those groups will be pitching in and extending their respective plowing responsibilities to keep that road open as often as possible.

"In the short term, the municipality, Deer Valley, and Empire pass HOA are all going to sort of elongate our existing plow routes to see if we can temporarily keep that road open longer than we have been able to under the existing conditions," Dias said.

That’s going to be the MO for the several weeks. Dias said the problem, which briefly resulted in UDOT saying it would not plow the one-mile stretch of Marsac between Wheaton Way and the gate south of Chambers Ave, is one of staffing - not a dispute over jurisdiction.

"This is really a labor issue, you know, Empire past is willing to pay, they're willing to continue to do the work," he said. "They just can't find the bodies. That's the problem. There're a couple things going on in the background; UDOT has another RFP out to see if they can get a better estimate. Then Empire Pass was able to through contractors, Empire Pass is increasing their wages and their hourly wages for individuals that are willing to drive for them. So not a lack of willingness. It's really just they haven't been able to find the people."

The Empire Pass homeowners association has a special agreement to plow above and below the area. Below that stretch is UDOT’s responsibility. And Deer Valley and hotels in the vicinity have their own plow contracts for their properties.

Dividing up plowing among those entities is the most logical short-term fix, he said, though it has a cost.

"What that's gonna do is, the result is it will cost more, it will add to the to everyone's labor costs - we'll all have to pay some overtime to use our equipment in ways that we haven't already but I think if we're if we're in it together on a temporary basis we can stretch to make this work to get us through the holidays," he said.

The next step is to come up with a permanent plan, and another meeting with the same group of constituents is set for next week.

Dias reminded the community that even with full-staffed services, the road will close a few times a year when conditions are just not passable. It won’t be proactively closed due to a forecast but only when a public safety emergency there is declared due to snow conditions.