A popular Tooele County pathway plagued with potholes is getting a face-lift with help from the Tooele County Health Department.
The Tooele County Road Department is patching potholes in the center of Smelter Road east of Tooele City. It also is repaving an eight-and-a-half-foot-wide strip on each shoulder of the road, according to Rod Thompson, county road department director.
“The project will run 2.3 miles up Smelter Road to just past the entrance to the Tooele Gun Club,” Thompson said.
The project is budgeted to cost $230,000, according to Thompson.
Half of that money will come from the Tooele County Health Department, according to Jeff Coombs, county health department director.
“The recent county budget adjustment included $300,000 from the health department’s fund balance to pay for three active transport projects,” Coombs said. “The Smelter Road project is one of those projects.”
Active transport, which involves non-motorized forms of transportation, is something the health department has been trying to encourage as a way to build a healthier community, according to Amy Bate, public information officer for the health department.
In August 2016, the county health department used funds from a grant from the Utah Health Department’s Environment, Policy and Clinical Care program and teamed up with a local Boy Scout doing a service project to mark a walking route along Smelter Road called the Tooele Valley Overlook Trail. Signs were placed at the beginning and end of the trail and at every quarter mile.
The Smelter Road path has become a popular route for walkers, joggers and bicyclists, according to Bate.
However, the shoulder of Smelter Road deteriorated making repair work necessary to make the road suitable for both vehicle and foot traffic, according to Tooele County Commissioner Myron Bateman.
“When the work on Smelter Road is completed, there will be markings on the pavement designating bicycle and foot paths,” he said.