Saturday, June 6, 2020

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Moab, UT

63.7 F
Moab
More

    No plans for bypass

    Featured Stories

    Ignoring own standards and experts, Utah commission pushes reopening

    The COVID-19 model from the CDC predicts an increase in deaths from the coronavirus from Utah in the coming weeks, and key indicators predict more hospitalizations are to come.

    Leaving Guatemala

    I selected “send me where I’m needed most,” my desire to immerse myself in another country’s culture not affixed to any location in particular.

    Widespread testing is key to Moab’s path forward

    Once a person develops symptoms of COVID-19, it has likely already been days since they started unknowingly spreading the virus. As such, local health officials want to expand testing locally for the coronavirus.

    County to diversify post-virus

    The impacts of the pandemic have renewed local leaders’ focus on a topic many have worried over for years but must now confront in much starker terms: Economic diversification.

    Arches, Canyonlands to reopen May 29

    Arches and Canyonlands national parks will partially reopen to the public at the end of the month, according to a spokesperson for the parks, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities.

    The party is over at Imagination Station art supply store

    Cindy Sue Hunter serves a customer at her art supply store, Imagination Station, which has been reconfigured to allow shoppers to do what Hunter calls “door shopping."
    Carter Pape
    Carter Papehttp://moabtimes.awebstudio.com/author/carter-pape/
    Reporter Carter Pape covers news out of the Grand County Council Chambers, including housing, tourism, crime, and more.

    UDOT: Tunneling cost prohibitive and environmentally problematic

    Pedestrians cross Main Street at the intersection with 100 South while cars and tractor trailers remain stopped at the light.
    Photo by Carter Pape

    More than two decades after the idea was first pitched, and after multiple studies to investigate how it might look and be built, no funding has been allocated or plans made to construct a Main Street bypass around Moab.

    “There is no project on the Long Range Plan (10-30 years), no project on the State Transportation Improvement Plan (5 years), no funding allocated, and no formal plan from local governments,” said Kevin Kitchen, communications manager for the Utah Department of Transportation’s southeast region. “This could take years.”

    According to UDOT, the idea of a bypass – one that would reroute traffic off of Main Street by forming a new connection to Highway 191 – was presented to the Utah Transportation Commission in public comment as early as 1993.

    The idea eventually gained traction at the state level because it offered to cut down travel times for truckers, travelers and others passing through Moab. Rather than stopping at up to 10 traffic lights between the Colorado River and Spanish Valley, drivers would face minimal travel interruptions by avoiding Main Street altogether.

    The idea has also gained some traction at the local level, with some residents hoping to get tractor trailers and other large freight out of the downtown corridor. Locals living in subdivisions through which bypass concepts were proposed to go, in particular, the Mountain View subdivision, were not as excited about the idea.

    UDOT said local officials requested a recent study into bypass concepts that was discussed last year, but the plan has since stalled, as the city and county have not integrated the study’s proposals into their long-term planning documents.

    The idea of an aboveground bypass has upset some locals worried about displacing homes and obstructing views of the sandstone rim around Moab, leading to pitches for an underground bypass.

    “Ideas are great,” Kitchen said of the underground bypass idea.  ”That’s where we start. Implementation of ideas must account for a broad range of realities.  Most tunneling infrastructure has been cost prohibitive or environmentally and technically problematic in the majority of applications.  It is a popular concept among visionaries with few willing to pay the price.”

    Whatever form a bypass might take, little energy currently exists to build it. UDOT responds to local buy-in with such projects, and lacking that, it’s “not likely” to build it anytime soon, according to Kitchen.

    “UDOT has routinely aided and partnered with local governments in their attempts to study and plan for their transportation future no matter what the form, with conceptual studies in diverse areas ranging from capacity and traffic analysis to drainage, transit and active transportation,” Kitchen said. “There is plenty for local community members to talk about.”

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    Police chief chases man behaving badly

    File photo by Carter Pape A Moab man with a history of drug...

    CFI modifies summer camp due to pandemic; won’t do overnight programs

    Canyonlands Field Institute has made the difficult decision to cancel its traditional overnight camps this summer, but is continuing to hold a new type of day camp.

    Economic injury loans in Utah reach $365.3M

    The U.S. Small Business Administration said in a statement that as of May 25, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program approved 500,074 loans nationally totaling $42.4 billion.

    Synergy donates $40K to local nonprofits

    Thatcher Vagts, president of The Synergy Company, distributes coronavirus relief checks to nonprofits. Courtesy photo The Synergy Company...

    Hwy. 191 work continues with paving, storm drain

    An excavator operator works on Highway 191 as part of a project by the Utah Department of Transportation to expand the...