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UDOT reverses the policy of shutting lower Marsac Avenue gates during snowstorms

UDOT said it won't close the lower Marsac gates during storms
Carolyn Murray-KPCW
UDOT said it won't close the lower Marsac gates during storms

The Utah Department of Transportation announced a reversal of its plan to close lower Marsac Avenue, aka the Mine Road, during storms.

Last week, UDOT told KPCW it didn't renew the plowing contract for lower Marsac Avenue. At that time, UDOT spokesman John Gleason said the cost was prohibitive, with bids coming in at ten times last year’s cost. However, after hearing from the community, the agency decided the lower gate at Prospect Avenue and the middle gate near Wheaton Way would remain open during winter storms.     

"And we really do appreciate all of the feedback that we've received. We've heard from, from community leaders, we've heard from businesses and homeowners. And so, we're going to do what we can to, to keep that road open and with the understanding that if it does become unsafe due to conditions, we will have to make that determination to shut it down for the time being here and with this storm coming through, we're, we're the goal is to try to try to keep that open as much as possible."

Gleason said traction laws apply to using canyon roads during the winter season. That means Park City Police may station officers on the road to enforce proper tires or snow driving equipment. Gleason said that’s to make travel in the canyons as safe as possible.

"Yes, that would be an enforcement-type situation. It doesn't apply to every single storm, but if you have a storm that's delivering a lot of snow and the roads become snowpack where you do not see the pavement anymore, the traction laws that we put into effect in most of those Canyon areas, is similar to Parleys Canyon, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon, go to the traction law."

Gleason said UDOT does not yet have a long-term solution to the plowing contract, but that UDOT is working with Park City to sort out winter maintenance of the lower portion of Marsac.

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.