The city of Sun Valley’s road and path projects have kicked off for the spring and summer construction season, and that means traffic will be diverted on some key thoroughfares.

The work on projects began this week, and some will continue through September. Work on Elkhorn Road will entail paving the part of the road and pathway, installing new curb and gutter, culverts, raising and lowering manholes, and improving Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, according to the city government.

While that is occurring, Elkhorn Road will be closed to through traffic between Skyline Drive and South Village Way, although local access will stay open.

The second year of the bond project will cost slightly more than originally estimated, according to a presentation City Engineer Betsy Roberts gave to the Sun Valley City Council on May 2.

Voters passed the $17.5 million bond in the November 2017 election, but overall expenditures are expected to be $16.2 million, according to Roberts’ presentation. The City Council and Mayor Peter Hendricks combined the second and third year of projects, which are going to occur this spring and summer.

The original estimates for the program were $660,000 for administration, $2,500,013 for the first year, $7,544,000 for years two and three, and $5,547,000 for the final year.

 Roberts’ presentation showed that costs were lower than expected in year one, and have been slightly higher than original estimates this year. The actual and forecasted costs for administration have been $644,526, $1,836,434 for year one, $8,186,509 for year two and $5,547,000 for the final year.

The bike path will also be closed from South Village Way up to Skyline Drive, according to the city. Crews will also initiate full closures of Elkhorn Road near Blue Grouse and Horseshoe Road, so they can replace culverts. Those full closures will be brief, and flaggers will be present to redirect local traffic to detours, according to the city.

The projects continue next week with traffic control and construction on Parker Gulch Road, Defiance Street, Keystone Street and Independence Creek Road. Work in the Twin Creeks area has been delayed due to the soil moisture content, but will commence once the soil dries out.

The city also has a strategic communications plan in place to help with public outreach related to the work. Sherri Newland of S&C Associates will be the communications officer, according to a proposal to the City Council.

Working with Hendricks, city staff and representatives from the city’s engineering firm Jacobs, as well as the contracting companies, Newland will send out weekly updates via email, the city’s website and other methods of communication.

An open house will be held with display board information detailing the upcoming projects, ongoing issues and expectations for the summer.

Information will also be supplied to affected property owners using door-hangers or mailings.

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