The original paving project in Nine Mile Canyon swirled in controversy as thick as the dust behind semis that drove the old dirt road. But after all was said and done, the dust settled both in the canyon and with the players involved. Because the road is functioning well, Carbon County wants to look ahead to stave off costly repairs in the future by improving the layer of pavement that is already there.
On Tuesday, during a special public meeting, the county passed a resolution to issue no more than $7.5 million in lease revenue bonds for the improvement, plus the addition of culverts and paving along the road from Soldier Creek Mine to the end of the Nine Mile roadway.
Public Lands Director, Roads, Access and Safety Administrator Rex Sacco explained that the project will stay within the footprint of the area that has already undergone extensive archaeological, environmental and culture surveys. He said the original pavement is not up to standards that will hold up to ongoing use. He said that the project will be like “taking a glass surface and adding a fiberglass coating.”
Draining issues need to be resolved in several areas. By adding culverts and gravel along the roadway, water will channel away from the road without causing damage to the surrounding lands.
This project is expected to save Carbon County over $700,000 a year in maintenance and repair costs. Long term savings will amount to over $2 million that will not be spent on repairs in the future. Community Impact Board (CIB) funding has provided 60 percent of the cost in the form of grants and 40 percent in low interest loans to the county.
Commissioner John Jones said that the road surface is already deteriorating fast and that funding is important for long term improvements to the road.
An assignment order for Jones & DeMille Engineering Firm was approved so that it can start looking at the engineering aspect of the project. An engineering contract has to be in place before the CIB funding can be approved.
A public hearing is set for Feb. 19 at 4:30 p.m. as part of the regular Carbon County Commission meeting.