Wednesday, March 13, 2013

City OKs $6K intersection study

Sun Valley at crossroads over junction in Elkhorn


By BRENNAN REGO
Express Staff Writer

    The Sun Valley City Council has unanimously approved a $5,900 safety evaluation of the intersection of Juniper and Elkhorn roads.
    “This is intended to be the professional engineering analysis you asked for,” Development Director Mark Hofman said at a council meeting Thursday, during which the council approved a contract for the study with engineering firm CH2M HILL.
    In October, the council set aside about $15,000 to install a streetlight at the intersection and to shave down a nearby dirt berm to improve the line of sight for those approaching the crossroads. The city spent about $6,500 to install the light before the ground froze, but opted to wait until spring to work on the berm.


“We want to heavily involve the neighbors in this. We want the feedback.”
Mark Hofman
Community development director


    However, at a council meeting in January, some residents said the light was too bright and that modifying the berm would be an unnecessary expense and would not look natural. Others spoke in favor of the safety improvements. Those who spoke against modifying the intersection said the council members had decided to do so based on “anecdotal evidence,” not empirical data. At the January meeting, the council voted to turn the new light off and to conduct a safety evaluation of the junction.
    Hofman said he expects CH2M HILL to finish the study in time to provide the council with “a menu of options” to discuss in May or June. He said the city will post the study on its website as soon as it’s completed.
    “We want to heavily involve the neighbors in this,” he said. “We want the feedback.”


Brennan Rego: brego@mtexpress.com




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