Improvements to a mountain road in eastern Sevier and Emery counties will shorten by 26 miles the route for delivering coal to a terminal near Price.

The $2.5 million project is being funded through grants and loans from the Utah Community Impact Board.The CIB also approved a $2.5 million loan to the San Juan Healthcare Special Service District for a new medical clinic in that county and authorized smaller grants and loans in other areas of rural Utah.

The money approved for the Sevier County Special Service District No. 1 will be used to upgrade and asphalt a county road in Convulsion Canyon that extends to U-10 about two miles south of Emery in Emery County, according to an announcement by mining company spokesman Wesley Sorenson.

"It will give us easier access to the Savage Coal terminal near Price," he said, noting that trucks hauling from the Southern Utah Fuel Co. mine currently double back on I-70 into Emery County.

The 9-mile-long road in Convulsion Canyon extends in nearly a straight line eastward, thereby saving coal haulers and the company 26 miles of travel for each truck.

"It will also open access to the Accord Lake area from the Emery side," Sorenson said. That area is popular for private cabins and rec-re-ation activities.

Officials of the Special Service District have been working with the CIB for several years to get the funding, Sorenson said. Part of the money is guaranteed by revenue bonds. SUFCO will pay a toll for using the road.

The project is in the engineering phase and should be ready for bids in the second quarter of 1999. The road will be completed later that year.

The SUFCO mine is about 30 miles east of Salina.

Other CIB loans and grants for programs in other parts of rural Utah include:

- Utah State University - $600,000 grant and $500,000 loan to construct a continuing education building at the Uinta Basin campus in Roosevelt.

- Uintah Special Service District in Uintah County - $695,530 loan to construct and pave streets and for curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements in Naples.

- Castle Dale, Emery County - $447,270 loan for a maintenance shop and arena grandstands.

- Daggett County - $400,000 grant and $150,000 loan for a new county jail.

- Iron County Building Authority - $250,000 loan for a new fire station in Enoch.

- Eastland Special Service District in San Juan County - $150,000 grant for water system improvements.