UDOT releases ideas for Heber Valley road redesign
The Utah Department of Transportation has released proposals to alleviate traffic on Heber Main Street as part of a long-term study.
Days before opening another public comment period October 5, 13 draft concepts are available for the public to view on UDOT’s website.
On the table are bypass roads that could be built on either side of the city, a new tunnel underpass, a bridge overpass and other ideas that could dramatically change the face of Heber’s downtown.
UDOT Spokesman Geoff Dupaix says the public’s feedback is essential in helping narrow down UDOT’s options to finalists that it will focus on in more depth.
“We have to look at not only traffic movement; we have to look at environmental impact, the social and economic impact of any transportation decisions,” he says. “You have to refine those things down, kind of like a funnel, to options that meet that transportation need, meet the environmental requirements, and it needs to have mitigation factors with them, with the goal of moving forward with a project that could be built.”
The 13 concepts are divided into three types. About half the ideas would alter the existing U.S. 40 path on Heber Main Street. The other half contain various options to build bypass roads east or west of the city.
All concepts would affect the area between 500 North, which runs parallel to the Smith’s grocery store, and 1200 South, just north of the Heber Valley airport. The concepts that focus on U.S. 40 itself would keep its traffic traveling through Heber.
One of the US 40 plans would add two lanes to Main Street. Another would implement a reversible lane, with the center lane running northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening, a concept in use in some much larger cities.
Another idea would split U.S. 40 into two roads within Heber City. That concept would dedicate Main Street to northbound travel and send southbound vehicles to 100 West to get through town.
Other proposals involve more construction on, or even above or below, Main Street. UDOT is also considering up to five roundabouts placed at intersections on Main Street.
Dupaix says the roundabouts would be a new type to Utah and would accommodate large vehicles like semi-trucks.
“The roundabouts that are being proposed in one of the options are turbo roundabouts,” Dupais says. “What that means is, it helps guide the driver. You have to make a decision as to which way you want to go. With a typical roundabout, you have options. With this one, you have to get in the specific left-turn lane and then follow the roundabout that way.”
Three proposals would create a new road on the east side of the city. For southbound traffic on U.S. 40 traveling from Park City, an eastern bypass would break off from the current highway just north of the Heber City Cemetery.
Each of the three eastern road concepts outline similar routes outside of the northeastern Heber neighborhoods.
Two eastern bypass options would involve a new road east of Mill Road connecting to the existing U.S. 40 Highway south of Heber. The third eastern road option would also build a new road east of town, but that one would merge with Mill Road before reaching U.S. 40.
Four of the concepts would build a bypass road around the west of town, three of which include a multi-lane road circumventing neighborhood streets and Southfield Park. The road proposed in these options would road from U.S. 40 north the city to U.S. 189, which connects to the Provo Canyon, as well as to U.S. 40 just north of the town of Daniel.
One idea proposes overpasses to allow traffic to move freely at highway speed in both directions without no stops.
The final western bypass alternative is for a road through the North Fields. That would connect to U.S. 40 at the River Road intersection and to Potters Lane north of the city. South of Heber, the bypass would reconnect to U.S. 189.
UDOT says details about non-motorized features, such as sidewalks and multi-use trails, will be featured in the next round of proposals.
For more maps, schematic drawings and more information on the proposals and 30-day public comment period, visit hebervalleyeis.udot.utah.gov.