It’s time to admit that the Jeremy Roundabout project is screwed up. No revisionist history will fix that.
Sometimes I think that our Summit County leaders don’t live in the same world we do. Do they come over to Jeremy and see what’s happening with the roundabouts? Do they see the cars going the wrong way through the roundabout and almost causing head-on collisions? Do they see the trucks that just randomly stop and block lanes, so you have to go the wrong way?
For example, I was waiting at the Jeremy Roundabouts the afternoon for about 10 minutes, trying to get to the elementary school. When the construction worker allowed me through the intersection, my Jeep was almost hit by the excavator as it swung around as I drove through the dirt. Decapitation via excavator a day after halloween would be surreal.
Yet, the whole thing is a mess. No one in their right mind, who would drive through the Pinebrook or Jeremy Roundabouts, would conclude anything differently. In Utah we would say things are EFFED UP. In most of the rest of the country they would have more choice words.
Summit County has done a good job of communicating about roundabout traffic flow changes. The County’s PR person, Krachel Murdoch relentlessly tells the public about what’s happening via Facebook, NextDoor and any other medium available. I feel for her. She is like a Boeing Media Specialist WILLING you to believe the 737 MAX-800 will some day be air-worthy. Yet, talk is talk and walk is walk.
The fact that the construction crews are working on the roundabouts at 5:30PM on a Friday afternoon tells you everything you need to know, when they were gone at 3PM most of the summer. That they are working weekends now tells you even more.
Yet, many of the County’s communications read straight out of Orwell. We have always been at war with East Asia. In this case they seem to try to convince us that we are on schedule and if only it hadn’t snowed on Halloween and if there weren’t buried pipes things would be perfect. Every construction project has unforeseen, buried issues. It usually snows by Halloween. It’s cold here in the Fall. It’s not an excuse.
The truth is they started too late.
If you go back to early KPCW interviews, the County indicated they would start the roundabouts in April. They did’t really start until the third week of June. A middle-schooler who had read Jack London would recognize that you never start a project, in the mountains, unless you start on time.
So let’s be straight up regardless of how painful the conversation is. Summit County Public works screwed up Kilby Rd. The winding nature of the road and the the bike lanes demonstrated a lack of competence and a danger to citizens. Trying to do two roundabouts — some of the largest in Utah history at the same time — when you start late further makes us question if they are up to task.
My only hope is that UDOT will demand a plan that allows their snow plows to operate. That in turn will hopefully make it so cars can pass safely through the gauntlet after 24 inches of snow. God help me that I am putting my hopes on UDOT.
Let’s not forget that Summit County pushed the roundabouts to get done this Fall. There was some burning desire to push it through (likely to allow More development along Rasmussen Rd.). UDOT was looking at doing it in the next 10 – 20 years. So, it is really all on Summit County. The buck stops there.
Time is running out to make the roundabouts functional within the next couple of weeks. Faith is also running out. Roads construction in November costs a lot of money. I’d like to implore the county to do something to fix the roundabouts, but I’m not sure what they can really do.
So we are left with praying for warm weather and no snow. Just what you want in a mountain town as winter approaches.
Then next summer, once the roundabouts are completed, we can implore the County to stop. Fill in pot holes. Overlay asphalt. Do what you are good at. But no more roads. Nothing big. Just stop.
Unfortunately we know that’s not going to happen.
Good luck people of Silver Creek. Your Bitner Road Connector is right around the corner.