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S.R. 248 Corridor Project Veers From UDOT's Original Recommendation

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UDOT
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UDOT

The Utah Department of Transportation’s State Route 248 project drew hundreds of public comments from Park City community members, most of which didn’t support the expansion of the road to five lanes. But UDOT’s initial vision for the highway might not come to fruition.

Park City Mayor Andy Beerman announced during his comments to the city council at Tuesday’s meeting that he and Transportation Director Alfred Knotts met with UDOT that day to discuss the S.R. 248 project.

“The quick summary of the meeting was message from the entire community was received loud and clear," Beerman said. "They have backed off any concepts involving a road widening or trying to add additional lanes, and they are now going to work with us on running buses on the medians.”

UDOT’s S.R. 248 environmental assessment recommended several strategies to reduce traffic congestion on the roadway, most notably widening the highway to four lanes of traffic and a center turn lane; and adding more turn lanes as well as bicycle lanes along the entire corridor. The public openly opposed adding more pavement and had concerns that widening the road would bring more cars into town, a result that’s incompatible with the city’s transit and emissions-reduction goals.

Beerman says UDOT will repave S.R. 248 in 2021, allowing for lane lines to be adjusted. Restriping the lanes should fit a westbound bus on the road, with the potential for an east-running bus later.

“Alfred and I talked to them about potential for an eastbound bus lane that would require some widening, and probably in today's dollars about $3.5 million," Beerman said. "But we think there may be some re-striping we can do to get most of that just on the bike median, and they're going to get back to us; they're taking a look at the data and the road widths to see that.”

The projected cost for the preferred alternative was $62.8 million, mostly in federal money. The city spent $1.6 million on the environmental assessment alone. Beerman says what he discussed with UDOT is more in line with community goals.

“It looks like it's going to be a timely and inexpensive project," Beerman said. "Might not solve some of our long-term challenges, but at this point I think, since our focus is on transit, we want to give that first shot before we look at anything else.”

In July, the Park City and Summit County Councils approved a resolution demonstrating to UDOT the community’s preference for multimodal transportation solutions to reduce traffic.

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