19-06-28 Hailey Traffic2 EDIT.jpg

Traffic on Main Street in Hailey is just now returning to prerecession levels.

A draft of an updated 20-year transportation plan and associated changes to Hailey’s capital improvement plan includes road maintenance while removing some major street projects envisioned 12 years ago.

The transportation plan is designed to evaluate growth projections and levels of service until 2040. It will be discussed and possibly approved following a final public hearing on July 8.

Public Works Director Brian Yeager wrote and presented a draft of the proposed plan Monday to the City Council, in part to satisfy application requirements for a federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD grant, to rebuild four blocks of River Street and build a bike path on Bullion Street.

Yeager said in an interview that the draft plan comprises the first transportation infrastructure analysis update since 2007 and provides a re-evaluation and re-prioritization of street projects that need to be completed, based on current conditions of repair.

Yeager said traffic counts gathered on a 2.9-mile stretch of state Highway 75 (Main Street) north of Bullion Street in April and May showed results similar to the number of automobiles counted traveling that route just before the Great Recession.

“We are only getting back to those numbers now,” he said.

Yeager said he removed about $2.9 million in proposed funding for several intersection roundabouts from the master plan, in favor of focusing potential funding on high-priority intersections that he said do not require roundabouts.

“With our limited funding, I would rather reconfigure the Cedar Street and Broadford Road intersection at Main Street, for instance, than build a roundabout at Fourth and Elm Street,” he said.

A recent analysis of traffic accident locations in the city showed no need to redevelop streets or intersections, he said.

The draft transportation master plan removes some projects that have been completed, such as the Woodside Boulevard renovation, and prioritizes newly identified projects, including the reconstruction of a quarter-mile stretch of Airport Way from Main Street into Airport West subdivision.

Two traffic lights on Main Street (at Myrtle Street and Elm Street) proposed in the 2007 transportation plan, have been removed from the currently proposed plan. Reconstruction of portions of Bullion Street and Croy Street have also been removed.

“The City Council will eventually apportion funding from the capital improvement plan for transportation master plan projects as opportunities and needs develop,” Yeager said.

Yeager also revamped and prioritized a street maintenance program in the plan that sets out funding goals for pavement repair, chip-sealing, fog-sealing and pothole repair.

“I have emphasized pavement maintenance for the capital improvement plan,” he said. “This was done to make better use of the recently [voter] approved $120,000 franchise fee increase to improve the condition of city streets.”

A Hailey City Council vote of approval will be required to finalize the transportation master plan.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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