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County Manager Expresses Concerns About Big Rig Chain-Up Areas

The Utah Department of Transportation is currently constructing a parking lot for big rigs and semi-trailers near the Bell’s station at Silver Creek Junction. It’s intended as a chain-up area.

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher told the county council Wednesday that they have some concerns about the project.

In a brief discussion, under county manager comments, Fisher said they had received a letter from UDOT Region Two officials, after the county made a request on how often the parking lot would be utilized.

“Our main ask was that the chain-up area only be open during emergencies and snow events. I think their answer was not a clear no, but certainly indicated no. That they would like to have that open and plan on having it open most of the time.”

He said they were concerned about another position UDOT had taken in the letter.

“Any amenity that they put in that would enhance it is something that the county has to maintain.” Fisher said, “They consider that standard practice I guess, but I’m concerned about that because of county resources obviously. I think we need to continue to engage with them on that.”

“Just to clarify an amenity being for example, if they were to decide that it was a good idea to have toilets out there, then we’d be responsible for the toilets?” Council member Doug Clyde asked.

“If that was something that we were requesting that they did, they would consider that our responsibility.” Fisher replied.

He said on the positive side, UDOT is also willing to work with the county on some items related to Silver Creek Road

But fisher said one other concern came up, from Health Director Rich Bullough. It’s about the old truck-pull-out area, further west on Interstate 80.

“He’s voiced concerns to the region about the truck parking area that’s adjacent to the Bittner property. That doesn’t have any facilities on it, so when trucks do park there at night or others park there at night there are no facilities for people to use.” Fisher said, “We might want to consider talking to UDOT about why they would need both of those open in the future. Clearly, they’re constructing this chain-up area and truck parking area that’s going to get used. Do we need to have both of them?”

“You know unfortunately that’s right above the creek” council member Kim Carson commented.

“It is. Right above a wetland protection area.” Fisher replied.

“This is likely to be an overnight sleeping area?” council member Glenn Wright asked. County manager Tom Fisher said it would be.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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