Increased traffic and speed have prompted Aurora City officials to ask for a state takeover of the highway going through the community.
But bringing the road to state standards could cost upwards of $1.5 million.Most motorists use the route to make a travel connection between I-70 south of the community and U.S. 50 to the north. The latter highway connects with I-15 near Scipio in Millard County. The road, which includes Aurora's Main Street, gets heavy truck traffic from coal haulers with the Southern Utah Fuel Co. mine in Salina Canyon traveling to the Intermountain Power Plant near Delta.
Aurora Mayor Larry Cosby said his people want the road transferred to the state so that maintenance, repair and snow removal would be done by the Utah Department of Transportation. City Councilman Terry Heath said it would cost the town $200,000 just to do chipping on Main Street.
Sterling Davis, UDOT district engineer at Richfield, says the road would be eligible for a state takeover because of the amount of traffic. Bringing the road up to state standards could cost between $200,000 and $300,000 per mile, he said.
Davis said the present road is "definitely too narrow for safety" of motorists. It would have to be widened with a 66-foot right-of-way through Aurora and 84 feet on county properties north and south of the town. Rights-of-way would have to be obtained before UDOT could take over the road. Cosby said the community has already obtained the right-of-way minimum in the city limits.
Most changes would be minor along the east side of the road. Some strips of private property about 6 feet in width would have to be obtained, but the mayor said he felt there would be no objections. Fencing, trees, fire hydrants and water meters would be removed and relocated where necessary.
The roadway north and south of Aurora would be widened by 18 feet, but availability of funding could be a problem, Davis said. "For fiscal 1991, our rehabilitation budget dropped from $20 million to $4.9 million. No one knows what can be financed. We're not sure how to raise the funds we need."