Final paving will begin today on Ephraim Canyon Road
By Robert Green
Paving on the Ephraim Canyon Road is scheduled to start today and drivers should expect delays.
Up to this point, construction on the project has gone according to plan and there have been minimal disruptions to people traveling up and down the canyon, said Gary Childs, project manager of Hales Sand and Gravel from Richfield.
Hales Sand & Gravel was awarded a nearly $3.8 million contract to pave a five mile stretch of the Ephraim Canyon Road from the mouth of the canyon to the entrance of Lake Hill Campground, according to Kevin Christensen, Sanpete County Economic Development Director.
Construction crews started laying pipe and grading the road on May 20.
The surface is now ready for pavement and drivers should expect 30 minute delays as travel will be restricted to one lane in some sections.
“We are asking drivers to be patient,” Childs said. “We will be using a pilot car system, so there will be some delays.”
The paving is expected to be finished by Sept. 17 and then final touches will be added. The sign systems, delineators and culvert markers will be done next, and then the road will be painted. The project should be finished in the first part of October, Childs said.
The completed roadway will include a 26-foot paved surface, drainage improvements and a turnaround area at the forest boundary.
The Ephraim Canyon Road project has been a contentious issue going back almost 20 years. Since 2001, there has been a tussle between many of the residents who wanted to pave it all the way to the Skyline Drive and many other residents who vocally opposed paving the road on environmental, financial and safety grounds.
There is nothing planned in the future to pave the Ephraim Canyon road all the way to Skyline Drive, said Sanpete County Commissioner Edwin Sunderland. And there are also no plans at this time to pave Skyline Drive, he said.
The Ephraim Canyon project was delayed about one year due to litigation from an out of state contract bidder. The paving project was scheduled for last summer, but the Sanpete County Commission had to wait on a decision from the Federal Government Office of Accountability.