Saturday, April 4, 2009

Eagle Mtn. Want More Roads

"A single road leads to Eagle Mountain, home to 20,000 people, and the city has learned it will get no help to add another access route.
"Every time we get a reasonable storm -- rain, snow, or wind -- residents get held up and it gets dramatic," said Councilman Nathan Ochsenhirt, who said he gets many angry calls from residents who repeatedly say "I'm pretty damn sick and tired of having one road into our city."

Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs are stuck squarely with the problem. Both cities held a recent meeting with regional planning officials to discuss how an extension of Pony Express Parkway to Center Street in Saratoga Springs, which would provide a second access to both cities, could be paid for. The answers?

"We will get no help from the county or the state," said Mayor Heather Jackson. "We have to figure out how to fund the dang thing ourselves."

To build just a two-lane road with no center lane will cost $3.5 million, a price that includes both construction and purchasing the needed land. Saratoga Springs officials said they have some road impact fees they can use toward the cost, but for Eagle Mountain there is no such easy solution, said Jackson.

"We could bond," she said. It was unclear whether residents would vote on such a bond.

The city understands that something needs to happen immediately. The urgency has only been underscored by construction at the crossroads of Redwood Road and Lehi Main Street, which has backed traffic up for miles during rush hour on recent days.

Now Eagle Mountain must find a way to come up with its share of the millions needed to construct the road. The city is getting creative. Jackson said the city must build a pipeline for Central Utah Project water to come into the city, and perhaps could use the same right-of-way for both the pipeline and the road.

Eagle Mountain also will ask county officials to chip in because, if built, the parkway would allow the county to abandon the old Fairfield road. And city manager John Hendrickson said the city could try to squeeze funds from the Legislature.

"Is there any more we can do as a council to accomplish this?" Ochsenhirt said. "Is there any possibility that road could be accomplished in the next year?"

"Yes, but we may have to bond for it. We may have to go into debt because you [the council] do not have the funds to do it at this point," Jackson said. "We are trying to find every single way that we can think of.""-Daily Herald

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