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Silver Creek Residents Still Seeking Consensus On Second Exit Road

Summit County

Following a public input session on Wednesday that was packed with Silver Creek residents, Summit County Council Member Doug Clyde says he thinks most people agree the area needs a second exit road. But there’s no consensus on where it will be.

As we’ve reported, over 100 people jammed into the Council meeting to talk about a link from lower Silver Creek to the Bitner frontage road, north of Interstate 80.

Clyde said opinions from the crowd depended on where they live—with the frontage road near I-80 being opposed by the adjacent Woodside neighborhood; and residents further uphill opposing the so-called “Bitner/Church Street” alignment.

But Clyde said most residents think the area needs a second exit to deal with emergencies. County officials, meanwhile, want another road to enable transit buses.

We asked Clyde if he’s leaning toward one of the alternatives. He said both options have some major concerns.

“The new, what we refer to as the Bitner alternative—I’m not particularly thrilled with because of the impacts on the neighborhood,” Clyde explained. “But we’re in a situation where any solution that we come up with will have some significant impacts on the neighborhood.”

One resident on Wednesday suggested that a second access could be gated, and only allow emergency vehicles or mass transit. But Clyde said the route will be used beyond that.

“The road will be, and is anticipated to draw a lot of traffic because there is a physical need for a frontage road,” Clyde continued. “For those of you who take that exit onto 40, you’ll often find that it’s backed all the way up to the Kimball Junction. So there is simply a capacity issue there. Y’know and their studies show that there would be a large amount of usage on this frontage road because people don’t want to necessarily have to get on the freeway in order to go to Kimball Junction.”

Another idea was to open up a pedestrian tunnel now going south under I-80, to allow vehicle access toward Silver Creek Village and the Promontory area. Clyde believes that is easier said than done.

“The problem with a tunnel under Highway 80 is that it’s tens of millions of dollars, maybe 20-30 million dollars to try to put a tunnel under I-80,” Clyde said. “And then you have to ask the question, where do you get to. Well, you don’t get to the essential services that you want at Kimball Junction, which is what would be driving a significant amount of traffic out of the area. It does allow you to get into Park City through 248. But that’s not our goal—248 is already at failing level.”

The County Council put off the topic until their meeting of November 6th. Clyde said they won’t make a decision then. That’s when they have asked the residents to come back with their best ideas for a road.

“We’re going to take that information and look at it and evaluate it and we’re not going to do it over the dais,” Clyde explained. “It’s not a matter of trying to dismiss ideas, this is a matter of trying to get the best idea.”

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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