|Carbon County Commissioners Bill Krompel and Mike Milovich inspected the crumbling bridge structures on Carbonville Road last fall along with Congressman Jim Matheson to show him the problems that the county is facing in rebuilding the road.|
The county's plans to rebuild Carbonville Road from near Price's Main Street to United States Highway 6 at the Blue Cut are proceeding.
"We are getting closer to actually starting the project," indicated Commissioner Bill Krompel on Tuesday. "There are a few loose ends we have to wrap up on easements, but most of the pieces to start the project are now in place."
The county has been considering rebuilding the road for a number of years because of heavy traffic volume. The highway currently handles between 5,000 and 7,000 motor vehicles per day, making it the busiest byway in the county's road system.
Almost two years ago, the county conducted a meeting with property owners and asked for support on rebuilding the road.
The commissioners were primarily interested in obtaining rights of way from property owners for utilities and construction of a sidewalk on the west side of the rebuilt road.
One notable absence at the meeting was a representative of Union Pacific. The railroad company owns all the land on the east side of the road.
The Union Pacific easement was one of the most difficult to obtain during the work toward starting construction on the Carbonville Road improvement project.
"We were able to obtain help with securing that easement with the help of Congressman Jim Matheson's office," explained Krompel.
In the initial negotiations, Union Pacific demanded that the county build a $175,000 chain-link fence along the west side of the railroad tracks in conjunction with the road improvement project.
The railroad company later dropped the demand.
The Union Pacific right of way is important to the project since the company's ownership extends across Carbonville Road in several places and overlaps with private property on the west side of the highway.
Currently, Carbonville Road does not meet federal highways standards. Not only are the shoulders too small and the width of the road too narrow, but many of the bridge structures passing over washes and irrigation systems are crumbling.
However a number of key ingredients in the plan for the reconstruction are now in place.
Federal grant monies totalling $3,050,000 administered by the Utah Department of Transportation and the local match of $550,000 are in place.
The local match includes $275,000 in grant revenues and a $275,000 no-interest loan from the Utah Community Impact Board.
Creamer & Nobel have completed the engineering design for the road improvement project. UDOT is reviewing the design.
Construction will consist of two phases.
Scheduled to start in spring 2005, phase one will consist of utility relocations to meet federal safety standards.
Starting from the south end of Carbonville Road, one-half of the highway will be widened to accommodate a continuous turn lane. Then the entire road will be completely rehabilitated. The upper half of the road will be rehabilitated next year.
A pedestrian pathway on the west side is also planned as well as drainage improvements and replacing dilapidated bridges.
More than 80 percent or 57 of the 71 residential and business property owner on the west side of Carbonville Road have signed deeds and rights of way for the project to move ahead, according to Krompel.
UDOT will not release funding until the county has secured title to the road. Therefore, it is imperative for the county to contact the remaining 14 property owners to secure the rights of way, said Krompel.
Carbon officials have been unable to contact a number of owners who live outside of the county. In addition, local officials have no contact information on several of the property owners.
For residents in the area and motorists traveling along Carbonville Road, the construction will cause some short term distractions and delays.
But when the project is finished, the road will have curb and gutter, improved drainage, wider shoulders, a center turn and two travel lanes and a sidewalk on the west side of the highway.