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Park City Water Line Overhaul Will Disrupt Local Traffic Into October

The water line project along Kearns Boulevard will continue into October causing traffic back-ups and disruptions. Additionally, next week, an overnight street closure is scheduled which will divert travel on Kearns Boulevard for about a seven-hour period.


The $110 million, two-year water pipeline project is part of a larger water supply and water quality project that has been underway for the past five years. It is replacing old lines from the early 1980s and will extend the pipeline from Rockport reservoir to the new Three Kings Water Treatment Plant. The new water line is expected to last 100 years. 


Park City Public Utilities Director Clint McAfee says the city is trying to keep as much water service at capacity as they can while replacing the infrastructure. 


“The Quinn’s water treatment plant is also under construction,” McAfee said. “We've been making improvements to that over the last year to increase capacity and reliability, to continue to provide water while Three Kings Water Treatment plant is being constructed. Because we are down two sources, Judge Tunnel and the Spiro Tunnel, during the construction of that.” 


The pipeline construction will continue into next year when the city will replace the lines across S.R. 224 and connect with the new Three Kings treatment plant.


In 2013 the City decided to discontinue using water from the Judge Tunnel due to quality concerns. McAfee says the Utah Division of Water Quality has ordered the city to meet stream water quality standards for both Judge and Spiro water sources by 2024. 


Many homeowners along the Rail Trail have enjoyed the backyard feature of having water that flows through Poison Creek. That will end in 2023 when both those water sources are scheduled to go through the new Three Kings Treatment Plant.  


“Since 2013, until we start using it in 2023, that water is just being discharged into the creek. So not only water quality concerns from a drinking water standpoint, there's also water quality concerns from a stream water standpoint,” McAfee said. “So it does not meet water quality standards for stream discharge and the same story with the Spiro. The Three Kings treatment plant is driven by the Clean Water Act. The plan for Judge is to pipe it from Judge down to the new treatment plant to Three Kings and treat it for drinking water and pump it into our system. Once we do that the stream would return to what it was prior to 2013.”  


Park City Utilities Engineer Griffin Lloyd says that from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. the night of Wednesday, Aug. 12, the city will close Kearns at Bonanza Drive eastbound and detour traffic through the Prospector neighborhood.


“As part of us connecting to the old system, we need to run a water line from the south side of the intersection at Bonanza up Monitor to where our Boot Hill lines are,” Lloyd said. “So in order to cross Kearns, we felt it was less traffic impact if we were to do a nightly closure and do it in about four or five hours versus trying to switch traffic around us and it probably would have taken two days.”


Traffic backing up on Kearns due to the pipeline construction is being addressed by UDOT making signaling adjustments to manage vehicle volume. 


The signal on Kearns at Comstock will also be repaired in the coming days. That line was damaged, and it’s caused very long waits for left-hand turns off of Comstock.  

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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