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The parking area at the Ernest Hemingway Memorial in Sun Valley, above, will be expanded on the opposite side of Sun Valley Road this summer.

The city of Sun Valley is planning to significantly increase parking capacity at the Ernest Hemingway Memorial on Sun Valley Road, east of Sun Valley Resort.

The City Council on May 6 voted unanimously to award a bid from Richfield-based Joe’s Backhoe Service to do the project for $73,700.

The city is preparing to assume ownership of 3.3 miles of Sun Valley Road, starting from the Ketchum city limit and extending to a point near Boundary Campground and the beginning of Trail Creek Road. The city is awaiting final paperwork from the state of Idaho and an associated sum of $3,315,400, which it plans to use to rebuild the deteriorated road.

As part of the plan, the city intends to build a new parking area on the north side of the road “exactly mirroring what is there now” on the south side, Mayor Peter Hendricks said. The project will double the parking area.

A crosswalk will direct people from the new parking lot toward the Hemingway Memorial, a popular site that features a raised sculpture of the famed author in a grove of trees above Trail Creek and a resort golf course. The parking area is also used to access hiking trails along Trail Creek and on Proctor Mountain.

The existing parking area will not be changed. Sun Valley Resort—which owns much of the land in the area—has been notified, Hendricks said.

Parking spots in a cul-de-sac at the end of Fairway Road that are typically used for Proctor Mountain trail access—from a different angle—will be eliminated, Hendricks said. The change will lessen impact on homeowners and will reduce traffic on Fairway Road, he said.

“I would be 100% for getting trail parking access out of neighborhoods,” Councilwoman Michelle Griffith said.

The work is scheduled for this summer, concurrent with another project to reconstruct and reconfigure the four-way intersection in front of City Hall.

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