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Heber City Council Approves Contract To Make Improvements On 600 South

Google maps image of an intersection in Heber. The roadway has a slight turn into an intersection which can be awkward to navigate
Google Images Maxar Technologies

Heber City Council approved a $1.5 million contract for improvements made to 600 South at the February 4th city council meeting.

The council approved the project contract to Geneva Rock at the meeting earlier this month after receiving four bids to make improvements along 600 South street in Heber. Assistant City Engineer Russell Funk explains what the improvements on 600 South are for:

“This project will widen that section of roadway to a collector standard and it will add curb, gutter and sidewalk on the North side of that road,” Funk explained. “We will also be replacing a water line there have been several breaks in the last couple of years and then the other thing this project does is gets our pressurized irrigation system in central Heber expanded and extended up to our Main Street park, to get that sprinkling system fed off of our pressurized irrigation system.”

The budget allocated for the project was nearly $1.8 million. However, in addition to the $1,559,253 bid, costs to move existing power poles, engineering design, and a 10% construction fee will place a shortfall of $132,000 on the project.

The project will use Road Impact Fee funds to cover the shortfall.

600 South is a busy thoroughfare and is used to access Wasatch High School and Heber Valley Elementary as well as businesses in the area. As part of the project the city would create a four-way stop at the often confusing, well-known intersection of 300 West and 600 South.

“It really is one of the more unsafe intersections,” Funk continued. “We went through and analyze what do we do with this? We looked at a roundabout. The cost of a roundabout was about $250,000 more than what we're doing now. There were some other issues there that we thought well for now let's go ahead and move forward with a four way stop. It does improve the intersection, improves the through lanes, helps people understand where they're going to go so it is going to be a four-way stop.”

Some council members expressed interest in further exploring a roundabout. Ryan Stack asked Funk if there was any way that moving forward with the roundabout makes sense.

“This seems like a great candidate for a roundabout because it is such a dangerous and confusing intersection,” Stack said. “Is that a flat $250 or since right we're going to have shovels in there doing things?”

“That was actually construction and most of that cost was with relocating utilities,” Funk answered. “We've got some main transmission power lines that would need to be relocated through this area. That was primarily what that cost was, I do think there would be some additional costs because I think we're going to have to get some land there in that intersection in order to do that. So, it would be more expensive.”

Funk offered that the city could talk with Geneva about what the add-on to the project would cost, although City Engineer Bart Mumford guessed that installing a roundabout now rather than in a few years might save the city less than $50,000.

Council member Heidi Franco also brought up a similar request, possibly extending a trail along the route as work is being done.

Council and City staff agreed they had no interest in slowing a project that was ready to begin in a month. Instead the city will explore the cost savings of doing the additional projects at the same time, as opposed to biding the projects separately in the future.

Council approved the execution of the contract of the proposed bid and work is likely to begin in the early part of March.

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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