By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Preston City is in the process of finalizing plans to reopen 400 East at U.S. 91. The access to the highway was at one time open, but closed several years ago after a federally funded highway-widening project was completed.
Mayor F. Lee Hendrickson said Friday the city is ready to go on the project, just as soon as the planning process is completed.
“We hope to have the project started soon and finished by July 1, if everything works according to our time frame,” he told The Citizen.
“We have met on several occasions with the state highway department, who is in favor of returning the intersection to the way it was prior to its closure.”
“The state and city officials are concerned about the safety of students who are dropped off near the intersection onto Preston School District property close to the junior high and elementary schools. We are working with school officials to discuss the possibility of installing fencing or gates to help solve the problem,” he said.
Adjacent property owners have indicated a desire to reopen the intersection, the mayor continued.
“We’re working with a landowner who has recently purchased property and plans to open a business. We told them if they cannot obtain permission from the state for access to their property off of the highway that they could access it off of 400 East where it is most convenient for them,” the mayor said.
City engineer Derek Kimball said the highway department would prefer a 90-degree angled entrance onto the highway, but added that isn’t feasible.
“When completed the intersection will be as it historically was prior to the highway-widening project and will be on an angle,” said Kimball.
“There will be curb and gutter on the east and west sides of 400 East, just off the highway. There will also be a drainage swale on the east side of 400 East to help with a water problem,” he explained. “There will also be a curb on the west side to define the road from Ransom’s convenience store parking.
“There will also be a six-inch curb at the rear of the convenience store to assist in traffic flow. The far south entrance to the convenience store, off U.S. 91, will be closed. There will remain one entrance off the highway. There will be two accesses off 400 East.”
Hendrickson said the highway department has allocated some funding to help with this proposed project. The city will help by having its crews install drainage and some curb, gutter and sidewalk in the area. It should solve a long-standing drainage problem in the area, the mayor added.
This story is sponsored by Steph Gun, Cornerstone Realty.
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