Heber’s Center Street repaved as pipe replacements, chip-sealing continues
Construction has closed Heber City roads to traffic for more than a year. Overseers of the pipe replacement project updated residents about what to expect in the future, including a fresh layer of pavement on Center Street.
Heber City is replacing old pipes in the majority of eastern downtown neighborhood streets. Engineer Russell Funk said phase 1A of construction has “basically wrapped up,” phase 1B is underway, and phase 1C begins next year.
Funk said crews would repave all of Center Street by the end of the week.
“Any road maintenance project is always weather dependent," Funk said, "but that's the schedule that we are expecting at this moment. After paving that, they're going to go get these other roads paved down from center to first south, and then 300 East.”
The city still plans to rip up many more streets on the east side as it replaces the 70-year-old old pipes.
During the week of Sept. 25, stretches of Center Street, 400 South and 500 South are scheduled to close, as well as others that intersect running north-to-south. The city expects construction to continue through October before crews pause for winter.
The city hopes to resume construction next spring and wrap up before the end of 2024. The plans cover about 60 blocks of eastern Heber neighborhoods from Main Street to 600 East and from 500 North to 600 South.
The city started the work last year after deciding to invest $83 million to replace old water and sewer lines, as well as add infrastructure for pressurized irrigation.
“This is phase one, specifically to address that infrastructure on the east side of town,” Funk said. “We'll have to come back in the future and take care of the west side of town.”
Simultaneously, more construction crews are out chip-sealing roads all over the city.
The ramifications of the construction include detours. Mayor Heidi Franco reminded people at the city council meeting Sept. 19th to plan for 10 extra minutes of driving if the road closures impact their commutes.
Councilmember Yvonne Barney said the construction impacts driving from her house, and people are forced to use a dirt road she says is dangerous. She asked people to slow down.
“I couldn't get out of Central Heber trying to get somewhere else, because everywhere I turned, that road was shut down, whereas the day before it was open,” Barney said. “I think it's important because of the accidents that we're having. People need to just recognize we're in a difficult situation. We've got a lot going on right now. Please just slow down.”
Funk also asked residents and passers-by to respect the construction workers.
“These chip seal crews that are out there working, they are working 70- to 80-hour weeks right now,” he said. “They are doing their best. The position we're in isn't their fault, maybe management's fault at their companies. It's not theirs. Be considerate. They are out there working their tails off trying to get this done for us.”
Much of the discussion about ongoing construction came in a question-and-answer format with answers to questions Barney gathered from the community. City government officials said they’ll share the full hour-long discussion on social media channels soon.
A project website shows updates and more information about the construction.