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Park City

Park City Council to take up Dan’s to Jans crossing, Marsac safety this week

Dans to Jans
Park City Municipal
An improved pedestrian and bike crossing could come to Kearns Boulevard at Snow Creek Drive.

Bridge or tunnel across Kearns Boulevard? That’s one question the Park City council will be looking to answer this week.

The so-called “Dan’s to Jan’s” corridor has been a target for improved pedestrian and bike infrastructure for years. “Dans” grocery store is now called The Market, and the area is even more busy with the addition of the Snow Creek DABC store. Getting from there to Old Town on bike or foot requires crossing Kearns Boulevard, which is also known as SR 248, which is under the control of the Utah Department of Transportation.

After Park City passed a $15 walkability bond in 2007, over 30 transportation projects have been completed in Park City. The Dan’s to Jan’s corridor has seen bike path and sidewalk improvements, but a safer pedestrian crossing where Kearns Boulevard and SR 224 meet has not been one of them.

The Park City council instructed city staff to explore spending the remaining $5 million in walkability bond money last fall, and a pedestrian crossing of SR 248 at Snow Creek Drive was selected as a priority last winter.

After months of feasibility studies, concept designs, and public feedback, the council will review the two final designs and provide direction on which to pursue at its meeting on Thursday.

In a nutshell, both options would provide a crossing of Kearns Boulevard at Snow Creek Drive. One option is for a tunnel, the other is a bridge. Both are very expensive and would blow through the $8 million the city has in UDOT funding and bond money still available.

According to city estimates, a bridge would cost roughly $12.4 million, while a tunnel would be nearly $13.5 million to construct.

City Manager Matt Dias said feedback from residents indicate the tunnel option has a slight edge right now, but admitted there is a lot of discussion to be had before a final decision is made.

“I don’t want to call it a dead heat," said Dias. "I think the majority prefer the tunnel, but it wasn’t an overwhelming majority. Now we get back into the council process where I think council is probably going to air this out a few times. They’re going to want some additional public input, and then we’re going to have to get direction as staff to sort of aggressively pursue an additional funding plan, because, really, we only have about $8 million and likely it’s about a $15 million project.”

Dias said the remaining money for the project could come through the city’s budgeting process or applying for federal grants.

Later on Thursday’s agenda, the council will receive an update from staff on safety improvements on Marsac Avenue. A runaway dump truck crash at the Deer Valley Drive roundabout put the road under a microscope last summer and the Park City Police Department stepped up enforcement at the brake-check area for the rest of the year.

The road is controlled by UDOT and Dias said there are plans for an improvement project in 2023.

“We are anticipating next year, not this year, some capital investment and some capital improvements about elongating the brake test area and widening the brake test area," said Dias. "On the municipal side of the ledger, we’re going to continue to provide additional code enforcement resources at that brake test area.”

Last on the agenda is a possible affordable housing project on the city-owned Mine Bench property, which is right across Marsac Avenue from the brake-check area.

Dias said if the council decides to move forward, it would likely be looking for a private-sector developer to helm the project, not city staff. He said the site could be used as seasonal housing for resort employees or other essential staff in town.

“There may be an opportunity to do some sort of purpose-built housing development up there to support Empire Pass and reduce the traffic and congestion coming in and out of town," he said "I think previous councils have said it’s an interesting idea, not a high priority, so we’re just kind of getting back to this now after four or five months of focusing on other housing initiatives.” 

Thursday’s meeting starts at 2:45pm at the Park City Council Chambers and will also be streamed online. A link to the full agenda and details on how to participate virtually is here.