Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pioneer Crossing to be completed ahead of schedule

Great news for Eagle Mountain residents!!

December 16th, 2009 @ 3:45pm
By Sam Penrod
AMERICAN FORK -- A new highway that will add a direct route from Interstate 15 to Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain has reached the halfway point. But a popular new restaurant in the middle of the construction zone has the Utah Department of Transportation concerned about gridlock.

In 2008, 20,185 daily commuters traveled on Lehi's Main Street. In comparison 15,915 daily commuters used Redwood Road between Lehi Main Street and the Bangerter Highway. -UDOTFor nearly a year now, crews have been working on Pioneer Crossing -- a brand new highway to bring direct freeway access to the growing communities on the west side of Utah Lake.

"We hope to have this all open by September [2010], which will be a couple of months ahead of schedule," UDOT spokesman Scott Thompson said Wednesday. "We will continue to work through the winter; and once the weather warms up, you will see a lot of work on this road to get it finished."

Crews are making progress on a bridge spanning the Jordan River. It's not far from where Pioneer Crossing will connect to Redwood Road.

There will be two lanes in both directions; and because it is close to some residential areas, the speed limit will be just 40 miles per hour, but nonstop.

What is… Pioneer Crossing?
Pioneer Crossing will be a new five-lane east-west connector from Redwood Road in Saratoga Springs to 300 East in Lehi. The project also includes improvements to the I-15 interchange at American Fork Main Street and a new 60-inch water main. -UDOT"We're excited to give people more mobility and a quicker commute back and forth from the interstate to Redwood Road, and the folks in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain another route to where they want to go," Thompson said.
A rendering provided by UDOT shows how the new diverging diamond interchange will work. It will connect Pioneer Crossing to I-15.

First, UDOT is bracing for the popular In and Out Burger opening in the midst of all of the construction on American Fork's Main Street.

"Right now, we have that down to one lane in each direction. And if traffic is backed up on American Fork's Main Street, we would encourage customers to come back, because we don't want to back up Main Street or the on and off-ramps to I-15 as well," Thompson said.

The new diverging diamond interchange is about halfway done. It is scheduled to be finished next fall with the rest of Pioneer Crossing.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Money well spent?

Last night at the Eagle Mountain city council meeting a request to purchase a $215,000 bronze statue of a horse and rider, i.e. Pony Express, named “Special Delivery” was presented to the City Council by Mayor Jackson. The intent is to place the statue in Mid Valley Park along the Pony Express Trail. This was not a budgeted item; therefore money used for this purchase comes from somewhere else in the city. What exactly will be sacrificed is not yet clear, but one can imagine how many neighborhood parks could be built or improved with $215,000 or perhaps the four years of an aquatic center subsidy that the city is unwilling to commit to that $215,000 would cover. It turns out that because of the absence of Ochsenhirt at the time of voting, Mayor Jackson was able to vote on her own request. Lifferth and Cieslak voted in favor and Burnham and Ireland voted against, thus Mayor Jackson needed to vote as a tie breaker. It is the hope that much if not all of the necessary funds will come from grants, but at the time we make the commitment to purchase, we don’t have the money. That philosophy, buy now and figure out how to pay later, is troubling to say the least. It’s the philosophy that significantly contributed to much of the economic troubles experienced today by many who are in homes they can’t afford. Rising credit card debt is another symptom of this philosophy. Aside from the unknown payment plan, I question whether this statue is the best way to spend $215,000 of our limited money.