Many of the local and county level political representatives attended the annual meeting sponsored by the Utah Department of Transportation held in Castle Dale recently. This informational meeting is held to alert local officials to the funding opportunities and road projects taking place in the Emery County area.
Brett Hadley, local government programs engineer, explained the types of funding available for the different types of transportation projects out there.
New this year is the local government transportation federal aid instruction book. Catherine Cutler, local government project development, explained the handbook to each of the mayors, council persons, and commissioners in attendance.
Another new item this year is the local transportation enhancement funds for bike/pedestrian pathways, landscaping/beautification, and historical preservation. Hadley explained the types of projects that would qualify for this funding. Hadley also stressed the need for cities, towns, and counties to have a transportation master plan due to the fact that road planning is done with projections looking forward for 30 years.
Another source of funding that has recently become available for counties is Senate Bill 8. This bill deals with the preservation of transportation corridors, and the money raised from this source can only be used to purchase property to provide for future needs. This recently passed piece of legislation allows county councils of government to impose an extra fee on the registration of vehicles.
Emery County has nearly 10,500 registered vehicles, and Hadley explained that the county could raise more than $100,000 by adding a $10 extra fee to the vehicle registration. Although, the amount any county can impose is up to the discretion of the county. He stated that at the moment, only two counties, Salt Lake and Utah counties, have imposed this extra fee on the residents with vehicles.
UDOT region four representative Daryl Friant announced the projects that will be taking place in Emery County this season. "The big construction project that will affect Emery County the most is the pavement rehabilitation of SR-10 from the Hunter Plant to Castle Dale. This project has been contracted with Nielson Construction and will begin in the next 30-60 days," said Friant.
"Another project will take place on SR-6 at milepost 288. This project will rehabilitate and replace the deck on the bridge over the railroad tracks. During the period of redecking the bridge, the traffic will be down to one lane only. We are hoping that delays will be minimal, and the construction company is Herbert Construction.
"Clyde Construction will be doing a project at the Helper interchange. I know this is not in Emery County, but Emery County residents may be interested, especially if they travel to the Wasatch Front. Another project on SR-6 will be a rotomill project near Sunnyside.
"We have several projects in the design and planning stages. One that is in the environmental study phase is the lane level project from the Muddy Creek to Ferron. We are hoping that road will hold up until the summer of 2007, when we are hoping this project will begin. We are also in the preliminary engineering process of SR-10 from Muddy Creek to Emery.
"There are also several projects in the design phase for SR-6. One is between Scofield to the top of Price Canyon. We are hoping to make that four lanes next year. We are also hoping the next legislative session will approve another project from Wellington to Sunnyside. This project will widen the road to four lanes. Another widening project that is in the planning stage is between milepost 281-288.
"In Spanish Fork Canyon, we are looking to relocate the Tucker rest stop to the Sky View area in the future, and because of the wetland issues, SR-6 will never be completely four lanes. In some areas of the canyon, it will be two or three lanes," finished Friant.