Though the rebuilding of an eight-mile Carbon County road into a major coal-hauling route is expected to be a boon to coal development in Emery County, the proposal has sparked some controversy from people living in Miller Creek.
They say the proposal to rebuild Ridge Road, a direct link between U-10 and U.S. 6, should be re-evaluated. Residents said coal-hauling trucks already constitute a traffic hazard along U-10, and they said U-10 will soon need to be rebuilt, as well as Ridge Road.Coal companies expected to benefit from the proposed rebuilding are Nevada Power, Co-op Mining Co. and Beaver Creek Mining Co. Nevada Power, which is in the process of swapping coal leases it holds in the Alton coal fields in southern Utah for leases in Emery County, remains undecided on whether to help fund the road, according to company spokesman Charlie Vaughn.
Ridge Road is already in use but is not now a direct link to U.S. 6 and is rapidly deteriorating. The rebuilt road also would serve the new CPS Resin extracting plant being built in the Wellington Industrial Park. A small extracting plant is being built now but is expected to expand in the future.
John White, president of CPS West, said the promise of a good road was one of the incentives that influenced the company's decision to locate a facility there. The company is headquartered in Dunkirk, N.Y.
On Thursday, the community impact board in Salt Lake City approved a $2.5 million, 15-year, 3 percent interest loan to help with the Ridge Road project, after Wellington withdrew its objections. Wellington represents Miller Creek residents.
At a meeting in Wellington on Tuesday night, city councilwoman Eleanor Rasmussen and Wellington Mayor Gary Rich said they would prefer that a rail line be built into Emery County. They suggested the previously proposed CV Spur, which would extend from the Denver and Rio Grande line near Wellington to Cleveland, Emery County. Another suggestion was to extend the Mohrland connection to Huntington, Emery County. The Mohrland connection is owned by Utah Railway Co.
After the Wellington meeting, Rasmussen said she called the railroads and found it would take three years to build a rail line. She said the Ridge Road could be rebuilt in one year.