Tremonton City recently completed a transportation master plan. To create this transportation plan the City engaged an engineering firm analyze Tremonton City’s future traffic patterns, plan future transportation corridors, and identify future transportation projects.
Tremonton City has approved a new master transportation plan in order to satisfy a Utah state law requiring cities to have long-range plans in place for road corridors and other transportation issues related to growth.
“We’ve had a future corridor plan with access points identified on Main Street, but we’ve never had a full-blown plan that includes modeling,” City Manager Shawn Warnke told the Tremonton City Council at its Aug. 21 meeting.
The modeling Warnke referred to involves projections of how the city’s current transportation infrastructure will hold up in 20 to 50 years under a range of circumstances, from no improvements to going above and beyond what is recommended.
With no improvements, he said the modeling shows that west Main Street would be close to failure within 20 years, and many of the city’s other transportation corridors would be in dire straits within 50 years.
He said the plan calls for 71 road projects costing a combined $221 million, with the Utah Department of Transportation being responsible for some of those, and much of the funding coming from the federal government.
Warnke said the new transportation plan will serve as a useful baseline for new road projects going forward. One of the biggest and most important aspects of the plan involves rerouting commercial traffic off of Iowa String Road to Main Street west of I-15.
The idea is to move traffic that needs to get to the interstate south of the city, he said, adding that the new corridor would also serve as an ideal location for commercial development.
“We’re looking at better land uses for the future, and we need to start working with property owners now to acquire and preserve that corridor,” he said.
In other city business addressed by the council at the Aug. 21 meeting, a recent inspection found that certain roads within the city will become seriously degraded due to heavy trucks using them unless restrictions are put in place, prompting city officials to consider implement vehicle weight limits on two stretches of road that currently see a mix of residential and commercial use.
In a letter from City Engineer Chris Breinholt to Warnke dated Aug. 18, Breinholt recommended limiting two stretches of city road — on 1000 North from 2300 West to the I-84 freeway interchange, and on 2300 West from 450 North to 1000 North — to vehicles weighing 12,000 pounds or less.
Breinholt made the recommendation after his inspection found the pavement on those stretches to be deteriorating in certain places, with alligator-type cracking indicating areas with soft ground underneath the pavement.
The inspection also revealed that the pavement is too narrow to function as an arterial road.
“Large vehicles on this road cause traffic to travel near the edges of the pavement when passing each other,” Breinholt wrote. “The heavy loads at the edges of the pavement greatly increases the damage to the roadway.”
In his opinion, “the use of this road by wide vehicles carrying heavy loads is significantly reducing the remaining life of the roadway.”
At its Aug. 21 meeting, the city council considered implementing the weight restrictions on the designated stretches of city roads, with violators to be charged $25 for the first offense and $50 for the second offense.
At the meeting, Warnke said plans are in the works to install signs on I-84 instructing heavy vehicles not to use the exit to 1000 North.
He also said there would be exceptions to the rule, such as for construction crews working on the road itself, certain residential deliveries, fire or other emergency vehicles, garbage trucks or other exemptions that are needed “because there are no alternatives” to get needed equipment and materials to homes and businesses in the affected area.
“We should consider notification and education as part of the process,” Warnke said. “There will be signs put up.”