One of the annoyances with skiing at Park City and Deer Valley resorts has been the traffic jams on U-224. But Park City has found a way to solve that problem.
The Utah Transportation Department had it all figured out several years ago; turn the 8-mile stretch of U-224 into a four-lane highway, with a center turning lane and wide shoulders, from I-80 to Park City.The state completed half of the project, but then D.A. Osguthorpe set up one roadblock after another to prevent the department from widening the 1,500-foot section of highway running through his farm, just outside of Park City.
But the city has ended the dispute between UDOT and Osguthorpe by agreeing to purchase his farm for $4.4 million. And the deal also will give the mountainous resort community 35 miles east of Salt Lake City some much needed water, said Mayor Brad Olch.
The deal for the 220 acres is a complex one. The city will pay Osguthorpe $5.9 million, and he will return $1.5 million to Park City as a charitable contribution. Then UDOT will buy 14 acres of the land, allowing it to widen the highway.
Once the contract is finalized, before the end of December, Park City will turn over the first $1.5 million payment. The next installment, of $500,000, is due in February 1991. And the final $2.4 million will be due in five years.
In exchange, Osguthorpe will drop lawsuits he has filed - claiming interference with his water rights, alleging trespass on his property and seeking to halt condemnation proceedings.
Park City also will receive 215 acre-feet of water rights and title to another 102 acre-feet of water reserved for agricultural use.