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The Sanpete Messenger

Ephraim Canyon Road may be repaved

Lloyd Call / Messenger photo
Sanpete County has submitted an application to have Ephraim Canyon paved all the way to Willow Creek. – Lloyd Call / Messenger photo
Ephraim Canyon Road may be repaved

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

10-13-2016

 

EPHRAIM— An application has been submitted, and plans are being made, to pave a large section of the Ephraim Canyon Road with asphalt next year, according to Sanpete  County Commission Chairwoman Claudia Jarrett.

The plan is to pave from the start of the canyon pavement up to Willow Creek, a section about 3.8 miles long.

The Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP), a grant program within the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designed to help improve transportation facilities located within, adjacent to, or providing access to federal lands, called for applications last March. Sanpete County submitted an application in June.

The Sanpete County application made the final cut and is currently being scoped, or reviewed in further detail, by the FHWA. The agency is examining aspects of the project such as budget and what should be included or excluded from the work. The next step is a site visit by FHWA staff.

The estimated cost of the project is about $2.5 million. A FLAP grant would pay 93 percent of the cost, while the county would be required to come up with a 7 percent match. The end result would be a $2.5-million road for $170,000 in county funds.

“This is not only a good deal but makes sense since the pavement will eliminate the need for future dust suppressant application,” says Garrick Willden of Jones & DeMille Engineering, the county’s main consultant for the project.

Currently, he said, the county puts a dust suppressant on the graded Ephraim Canyon Road every year. The cost of dust suppression on the project section alone would cover the matching portion of the FLAP project in fewer than 5 years.

The FWHA operates the FLAP program in cooperation with states. Applications for FLAP are evaluated by a Programming Decisions Committee in each state. Sanpete County Commissioner Claudia Jarrett is on the PDC for Utah.

The PDC scores project applications through a federally-approved score sheet. From 18 total applications, the total access funds requested in Utah was over $92 million. The allocation for the whole state from FHWA is $10.64 million.

Out of the 18 original projects proposed to the Utah PDC, Ephraim Canyon was one of eight finalists.

“It would be out there,” Jarrett says. “It’s such a competitive field; it depends on so many factors that go into how the projects are rated. We were so excited just to be on the short list. We will be happy to see the project get to the next step in the process and eventually be approved.”

The PDC will meet again in January, at which time they will review the short-listed projects to continue in the decision-making process.