Carbonville road project almost done
It has taken about six years and roughly $6 million, but the Carbonville Road improvement project is nearing completion. According to Carbon County Commissioner Bill Krompel, it will take another year and another $1 million to redesign and reconstruct a dangerous intersection and to coat the road with slurry seal.
The intersection is at 750 North and 760 North on the old highway. As the numbers imply, this is an offset crossing, so drivers must zigzag to get from east to west. To add to the problem, drivers wanting to enter the highway from the east must cross railroad tracks, then wait for traffic to clear. This is hazardous for long vehicles like school buses, whose tail end could be on the tracks while stopped, or whose front end would be on the highway if the rear needs to clear the tracks.
There is a compound solution to this, Krompel said. First, 750 North must be relocated so it is directly across from 760 North. Second, an automated crossing arm in addition to the existing warning flashers would prevent vehicles from crossing the tracks when a train is on the way. Third, there should be a traffic signal at the new 760 North that gives priority to vehicles entering the highway when a train approaches. Remote sensors would trigger the light change.
This fix will not be cheap, but Krompel is confident the money will be there. The first anticipated source is the $800,000 left over from a $2 million grant from the Permanent Community Impact Board for road improvement. With the economy in a slowdown, road construction firms have been scrambling for business, so the actual cost of improvements so far was much less than originally estimated.
The Utah Department of Transportation has already allocated $200,000 for the project, the commissioner said.
The county has already retained the engineering firm of Creamer and Noble to design the realignment. The construction work could begin as soon as this fall if all the pieces fall into place. Slurry sealing and road striping could be under way by mid-summer.
To date, the improvements on Carbonville Road (which used to be US 6 until the early 1980s) have changed the looks and the safety. The road has been widened, while sidewalk, curb and gutter have been installed, making it safer for pedestrians and improving drainage. While the road was being torn up, a low-pressure piped irrigation system was laid underground. Utility poles, which used to be inches from the east side of the highway, were relocated further from the road on the west side.
Early on, the project involved at least two years of work negotiating with roadside property owners, the commissioner recalled. The county had to get 73 separate rights of way because those rights had never been specifically assigned.