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Gunnison accepts $571K bid for road widening, half mile of sidewalks on 500 south next to schools

 

By Lloyd Call

Associate Publisher

 

GUNNISON—In an effort to make walking to school safer for students, Gunnison City will be widening 500 South from Main Street to 300 East, and adding a half-mile of sidewalk, curb and gutter on the south side of the street. There is a sidewalk on the north side now.

The street is just south of all three Gunnison schools—the high school, middle school and elementary school.

“This project is important because we just want to be sure our kids can walk safely to school,” said Councilman Scott Reid. “A lot of students use 500 south to go to and from the schools.”

The road is also used by traffic going to Mayfield, so it is very busy much of the day.

Tyson Jewkes, consulting engineer for the project with Ensign Engineering in Richfield, said of the route, “It’s really narrow. It’s been a hazard.”

Construction should start in a couple of weeks, about when school starts. Jewkes said he anticipates the contractor will post flaggers along the street, but he believes one lane will remain open during the project.

“I don’t foresee any road closure,” Jewkes said. “Most of the work will be on the south side of the road.”

Before the project could begin, however, power poles along the street had to be moved so sidewalks could be put in. Rocky Mountain Power has moved those power poles further away from the street.

There were a half dozen bidders for the project, and June 19 the council awarded the contract to Carlisle Excavating in Salina for $517,327.

The funding will all come from grants, so the city did not have to get loans or pay any matching funds. Funding comes from three sources: The Utah Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to Schools program, $250,000; a Utah Community Impact Board (CIB) grant for $80,000; and a Community Development Block Grant, a program of the U.S. Department of housing and Urban Development administered by the Six County Association of Governments, for $200,000.

After awarding the construction contract, the city council discussed the future of its industrial park.

To date, all the city has done is designate the site for an industrial park, which is on city-owned land north of the cemetery. It has done nothing to develop the site.

“If someone came to us and said, ‘Where can I put my business? I need 10 acres.’ Where would we put them?” Mayor Lori Nay asked.

The city is not aware of any potential occupants yet, but the council agreed the city might want to include infrastructure improvements in its general plan.