The massive overpass construction project now underway at the intersection of Highway 6 and North Main Street in Helper is designed to eliminate the hazardous situation of cross highway traffic in the area. In the process of construction a much more hazardous situation has developed this past week.
The Highway 6 traffic at the intersection has been divided, the south bound utilizing the lane on the west side of the project, nearest the Swifts gasoline and deli business. The north bound traffic is directed on a new lane on the east side of the project near the bridge over the Price River. This has brought about two stop signs, approximately 50 feet or so apart.
It is the stop sign on the east side that concerns me and a good number of Helper citizens presently. There is a blind spot at the sign due to the block retaining wall constructed adjacent to this stop sign. A driver traveling east on North Main can not see the traffic coming north on the highway without almost getting into the lane of the highway traffic. A similar block retaining wall is going up on west side and will present the same hazard for west bound traffic on North Main as the south bound Highway 6 traffic will not be visible until upon the intersection.
A reflective mirror has been installed on the east side intersection, but this does not adequately serve the purpose of solving the problem.
This is an intolerable situation that is an invitation to a disaster. I contacted the Helper chief of police in regards to the situation and was told there was nothing the city could do, that UDOT was calling the shots. Surely it is the responsibility of a municipality to safeguard the safety of its citizens, UDOT or no UDOT. The citizens of Helper should not have to put up with this hazardous situation.
Last summer I watched the renovation of two bridges on Highway 6 , one in Spanish Fork Canyon, the other just north of Green River. In both cases portable semaphore signals were utilized to handle the traffic. Yet, they tell us in the Helper overpass project, traffic on Highway 6 cannot be stopped, even momentarily.