Construction on SR-36 is about 45 percent done and the project is halfway through the time allotted, said Ed Rock, project engineer. With $8.3 million of the $16 million budget, spent, “we’re about where we want to be.”
Rock, and Justin Smart, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) public involvement coordinator, updated Tooele City Councilmen on the venture Wednesday during their regularly scheduled meeting.
A wetter-than-average winter has slowed the UDOT project down slightly, Rock said. The original schedule had the job finished by mid-July of 2005. But at the current rate of construction, the road will not be completed until mid-August. While this is a month behind the original schedule, it fits within the contracted period, he said.
However, plans are under way to accelerate the work to meet the mid-July deadline. “In April when we get warmer weather, we may be running trucks 24 hours a day,” Rock said. April will also bring a greater impact to Tooele City residents when paving on the road between 1000 North to the railroad viaduct is expected to cause some traffic slowdowns.
While some inconvenience is inevitable, Smart told council-men his job is to keep life “as pleasant as possible” during the project.
Current information about road construction will be made available through a website linked to the Tooele City website, he said. This information will be updated weekly. A community coordination team has also been assembled to keep UDOT informed on a grassroots level, Smart said.
“We’re happy you are doing it and we hope you get it done on time and get out,” said Michael Johnson, city council chairman.
In other discussions, Gerald Webster, director of public works, said winter precipitation totals in Tooele are 134 percent of normal. “Even if it quits by April we should be at average,” he said.
Although Tooele is seeing an above average year, water levels in most city wells are still dropping, a result of the five years of drought. It will take two to five good water years to refill the wells, he said. But the #12 well, a bedrock well, has stopped its decline. “It looks like we have turned the corner.”
Even with his guarded optimism, he said it looks like the city should continue water scheduling through the summer of 2005. When Johnson expressed concern about citizen cooperation with the water scheduling, Webster replied, “Actually, the citizens reacted fairly well last year”
Few citizens had comments on a public hearing about issuing sales tax bonds in an amount not to exceed $2,750,000. One woman in attendance asked for clarification of the procedure. A second questioned what project had been discussed in connection with the bond. Johnson said the council had discussed putting the money into soccer fields, girls’ softball fields and regional parks, but nothing had yet been decided.
After a short, low key discussion of the proposed bond, Johnson said “it looks like people are comfortable with this.” The council agreed to vote on the bond during their next meeting.
Mayor Charlie Roberts was given authorization to sign the bylaws of the Tooele Valley Rural Planning Organization. Council members also agreed to authorize matching funds for the organization.
City Councilmen tabled a decision to adopt an ordinance on apartment designs pending a public hearing on the matter.