The issue of what to do with the road in Nine Mile Canyon arose again at an early December meeting of the Nine Mile Advisory Council.
The road has been a problem child for the county, canyon preservationists, tourism officials and others for a very long time. But with the added use of increased industrial traffic in the last few years, along with many more tourists due to national exposure of the area from in various publications, it has become a priority of many people involved.
At a meeting earlier in the fall Carbon County Commissioner Bill Krompel presented a very preliminary plan for how the canyon road could be paved all the way from Myton to where the pavement now ends at Soldier Creek Mine. At the meeting there were officials from not only Carbon County, but also from Duchesne County which would have to be involved in any such plan.
But that presentation brought out some concerns as well. Many who love the canyon are concerned that it will become a thoroughfare for traffic from the Uintah Basin into Castle Country.
"I am concerned that the canyon could become a raceway if the speeds are allowed to reach too high a speed," said Steve Tanner, the co-chair of the advisory committee. "I don't think posted speeds should be over 25-30 miles per hour."
At the earlier meeting the engineers that helped with the preliminary study agreed with Tanner.
At the last meeting funding for such a project was discussed.
"I think it is about time we started exploring the possibility of using some mineral lease money to help with the design and construction of the road," stated Tanner.
Carbon County Commissioner Steve Burge is also part of the committee and he said that he knows Krompel is working on letters of agreement between the two counties to get something done.
"But now that it's winter time this is a good time to come up with a plans for all kinds of things including the road," he said.
The group also discussed what has been done with the money that was appropriated by the restaurant tax committee earlier this year for signage and other projects in the canyon.
"Not much of the money has been spent yet, because we have to get clearance from the Bureau of Land Management for the signage we intend to put up," said Pam Miller of the College of Eastern Utah Pre-historic Museum. "We have been able to do a little but we have only actually spent about $2000 of the money."
The restaurant tax committee granted a little over $40,000 for the projects.
"But the BLM is not all we are waiting for either," stated Miller. "We are still working with the county to abandon the road in front of Rasmussen Cave and for the new route to be approved. We also need some things from the Bill Barrett Corporation concerning the cave before we can get started."
BBC actually owns the property where the cave is located and there are negotiations going on concerning access and to make sure everything involved is done legally.
Miller also says that because those interested in the canyon are volunteering so many hours the money the restaurant tax committee appropriated is going to go a lot further.