Acting at their regular May meeting, the Orchard City trustees gave a consent for traffic count studies to be conducted on Highway 65 access at Myers Road for the county’s proposed North Road Gravel Pit.
Trustees noted that the consent was not an endorsement for the county’s pit or for its haul project proposals.
Rather, the action, as explained, gives the town’s consent to have a traffic study conducted within its jurisdiction.
The county is moving ahead with plans to eventually open the North Road pit to replace the Antelope Hill pit, which is scheduled to close in four to six years, according to officials.
Two possible accesses from the North Road pit onto Highway 65 are being considered — at North Road and at Myers Road.
County engineer Bob Kalenak explained the process for determining that access for the DCI.
“We have submitted applications for both North and Myers roads,” Kalenak said.
“Our traffic study for the North Road gravel pit determined, by traffic engineering volume calculations, that impact at Highway 65 on North Road would be 20 percent or more increase in volume. That, by CDOT regulations, requires an access permit application be submitted.
“While actual vehicle volumes will not be increased significantly, worst-case situations, along with traffic engineering standards … results in numbers that establish the need for an access permit.
“As mentioned in the public hearings, our volumes for the pit will be the same as for the Antelope Hill pit — an average of less than three trucks per day.”
The county engineer explained further, “As for Myers Road, our traffic study concluded there was no need for an access permit based on truck volume, but recommended improvement to the intersection by increasing (pavement width at the intersection) on both sides of Myers Road. As that means working in the state right-of-way, an access permit is required. So to complete the improvements, the county needed to submit an access permit application to do the work … Orchard City reviewed the applications with the county and agreed to and signed the applications.
“The applications along with the traffic study have been submitted to CDOT for its review. That is where we are at right now.”
Kalenak added, “The state can approve, deny, or approve with mitigations or improvements each application. Once that is complete, the county and Orchard City will review CDOT’s finding and proceed from there.”
In a separate but related matter, the county has been notified of a possible legal challenge to the commissioner’s specific development approval of the North Road gravel pit.