A Heber Bypass on the west side of town may not be a reality for at least another 10 years. However, a smaller connecting bypass on the east side may be finished in two years.
The eastern bypass would connect center street and U.S. 40. As part of a 2007 interlocal agreement with Red Ledges—a private community with approximately 200 homes built and around a hundred more in process—the development was required to build a portion of the bypass. After four deadline extensions Heber City gave Red Ledges a final deadline at Tuesday evening’s Heber City Council meeting. Over the past few weeks Heber City and Red Ledges have worked on a memorandum of understanding that gives the city assurances that Red Ledges would complete their portion of the bypass by the deadline outlined by Councilmember Ron Crittenden.
“We’re looking for the base work, everything except curb, gutter, and asphalt to be finished by October of 2020, and the asphalt, curb, and gutter to be laid and finished, absent acts of nature if you would, by the 30th of May of 2021,” Crittenden continued. “We certainly hope and encourage New London to meet that finish timetable if at all possible because with the bypass we want to see connection.”
Red Ledges, Heber City and the New London development all have portions of the bypass they are responsible to complete.
The New London mixed used development is on the north end of town located just off U.S. 40. According to the development’s approved Master Plan, New London will build 15 retail stores along the eastern side of US 40 including an 123,000 square foot store. The eastern portion of the development will contain 333 dwelling units including apartments and town homes.
New London is required to build portion A of the bypass connecting it to U.S. 40. Heber City will build portion B located just north of the Heber City cemetery. Red Ledges will build portion C which connects the road to center street.
With Red Ledges and Heber City now committed to the May 2021 deadline, the city is now negotiating to have New London finish their portion in that same timeline.
Although they do not have the same required deadline, Dave Nelson, with the New London development says they’ll be happy to help, but they have some asks of the city.
“Our agreement and basically our development plan was to develop as needed, as quickly as needed,” Nelson said. “At the same time, we understand the benefit it would be to the city to go ahead and get that done sooner than later. We're not against that, but there would have to be some things we would have to have an agreement between the city and ourselves such as: by putting the road in there would be an increased land value that we're not ready to have developed. So, we would not want to have to pay increase property taxes on those sections that we hadn't developed where we're just putting a road in.”
Nelson agreed that it makes sense for all parties to have the road finished by May of 2021 and he doesn’t feel that date to be an unrealistic expectation or goal.
Nelson also said that New London has motivation to provide access to the retail portion of their development via US 40 as quickly as possible. However, Nelson added that they cannot start their portion of the road until UDOT can give assurances as to where exactly the Heber Parkway will intersect with U.S. 40 and the Eastern Bypass.
“Because this is the one road that ties the western and eastern bypass together and to have it off by five feet is a big problem. It is,” Nelson explained. “For UDOT that would be a major issue to be off by five feet, so you want to have the one intersection totally tied down. I know what UDOT’s process is and what they have to go through. At the end of the day they will put the road where it needs to be, all these studies will just find ways for them to have to mitigate some different damage. If they find some wetlands that they have to go through, they're going to have to mitigate it; just like they did on the whole western bypass road down on Salt Lake County. They had to mitigate some of the land they were using that will have to happen here if there are issues that come up, but my point is we would love to start from the West side possible. We can't start on the West side until we get that road defined.”
With no agreement yet in place Nelson says the City and New London will continue to work to a resolution.