Leaders from several communities sought approval for their pet road projects during a Utah Department of Transportation commission meeting Friday.
The mayor of Moab wants a foot and bicycle path on U.S. 191 where it bridges the Colorado River north of Moab. The path is necessary to protect the bikers and walkers who use the narrow two-lane highway to cross the river, said Mayor Tom Stocks. Sam Taylor, chairman of the UDOT commission and a Moab resident, agreed the situation is dangerous, He said he recently approached the narrow bridge at the same time as two semitrailer trucks and 10 cycles.
Taylor said it would be better to build a new bridge alongside the old one than to try to widen the existing bridge.
The state probably won't pay for the bicycle path, he said. "There is a lot of pressure on the state to build bicycle paths. But in most cases, the state will likely confine itself itself to helping design the bicycle paths. The funding will have to come from other sources."
The state has built a base for a bicycle path along U-227, a four-lane highway being built near Park City. The funding for the path will come from Park City and surrounding areas, Taylor said.
Stock and Moab would also like the state to consider upgrading a rest stop near the bridge approaching Moab. The existing one built years ago by the Lions Club is inadequate. More information about tourist attractions in the area should be provided, he said. He also proposed a second bridge across the Colorado River near the old Potash Road that would be part of a bypass highway around Moab.
Truck traffic, particulary trucks carrying nuclear waste and hazardous waste from an incinerator proposed in Cisco, needs to be routed off Moab's main street, he said.
Taylor did not support the proposal for an alternate route around Moab, and he said most of the merchants of Moab also oppose it. Wellington Councilwoman Lynda Jewkes requested a rest stop on a portion of the city park that fronts U.S.6. Many tourists stop in the Wellington City Park, but it can't handle the crowd, she said.
Commissioners said they will consider the proposal. Wellington would have to deed property to the state before the rest stop could be built, they said. Wellington would also have to agree to maintain the facility.
Harold J. Tippetts, chairman of the Davis County Commission, proposed adding a protion of Farmington's State Street and the Davis County road system to the Federal Aid Secondary System. The proposal was approved by the commission.
Tippetts said Davis County will sonn become the first completely urban county in the state and does not have enough north and south highway capability for handling traffic.
Gene Sturzenegger, assistant director of UDOT, told commissioners the attorney general will be asking to review who is responsible for installing and maintaining highway signs. At some location, it is unclear whether the state of local governments ar responsible for the signs.