Construction is nearly complete on a new road that will lead athletes and sports enthusiasts to and from the Utah Olympic Park, host of the Nordic jumping, bobsled and luge competitions in the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The two-lane, 1.8-mi. (2.88 km) park access road is being built 45 minutes from Salt Lake International Airport in Park City. Entrance to the road will connect to SR-224.
The contractor, Springville, UT-based W.W. Clyde, began work last fall by completing the cut, fill and most of the sub-grade. The company then spent the winter months installing the sewer line within the new alignment. This summer, crews are completing the sub-grade, base course and then will begin paving. The project is scheduled to be completed by early September but UDOT is waiting to determine an opening date for the new access road.
“Construction is still going on at the Olympic Park and our road will go right into it so we’re waiting to see when it’s best to open it,” said Cory Pope, UDOT resident engineer.
Olympic Park officials estimate they will give the go-ahead to open the road sometime this fall.
New construction at the 389-acre Olympic Park includes K-90 and K-120 ski jumps and judge’s tower, the Joe Quinney Center, which features the Alf Engen Ski Museum, and start houses and maintenance facilities for the bobsled/luge track. This new construction will add to the existing 20, 40 and 60-meter ski jumps, winter freestyle aerial training/competition area, bobsled and luge track, summer freestyle aerial training pool, administrative offices, day lodge and winter sports school for high school students.
This new access road has been in the long-term plans almost since the park’s inception.
“We’d hoped to have this road completed before the Games and through the work of the Olympic Committee and UDOT, it was made possible,” said Craig Lehto, director of the Utah Olympic Park.
An existing road also offering access to the Olympic Park is a few miles away.
Both roads will remain in operation. The alternate route will be a plus for some of the 240,000 spectators estimated to attend the Olympic events at the various venues. In the meantime, the Utah Olympic Park continues to host regional, national and international competitions in Nordic and gelande ski jumping, freestyle aerials, bobsled, skeleton and luge events.
“This new road will ultimately become our main access road, it makes sense because it’s a more direct road with a visible entrance off Kimball Junction,” said Lehto.
“The road also will feed directly into the Park and main parking lot.”
The original access road contract was bid at $2.8 million, but now has risen slightly to $3 million. Knowing the road would be well used developers widened the shoulders to allow for parking adjacent to the road and added a pedestrian path. The $150,000 path and some changes that needed to be made to improve drainage conditions account for the additions to the original price tag.
The property where the road is being built was open pasture and hillside. The land was donated by a private owner in hopes that the road and subsequent landscaping would add development potential to his surrounding property. Crews have been diligent to maintain the rural beauty of the area in the design of the new road. Cattle had roamed the property and will continue to graze in a nearby fenced area even after the road is complete.
“We were careful not to encroach on property we didn’t need to,” said Pope.
“There are some large pine trees and other nice trees in the area and we adjusted our alignment and slopes to miss as many of them as possible.”
The project has gone smoothly with only minor delays caused by a slope failure early in the project. Crews solved the problem by installing a rock buttress to stabilize the hill and then covered it with topsoil.
“I’ve been really pleased. They’ve done a great job,” added Pope.
With all work taking place off the highway, traffic on SR-224 has not been affected. Minor traffic interferences will occur later this summer as crews connect the road to SR-224.
In addition to the work completed by W. W. Clyde and Company, the following subcontractors assisted with the project: Bob’s Tree Service; Salt Lake Seismic Services; JKL Construction; Sunrise Highway Painting; Geneva Rock Products; J.D. McNeil Construction, Chatfield Construction; Construction Trucking; WRR Industries and Superior Concrete.