Road Improvement Priorities Driven By Money, Usage


In 2004, the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee came up with 23 areas for roadway improvements in Payson.

Two years later, just one of those 23 improvements -- McLane Road from Forest Drive to Airport Road -- has been completed. This work was completed about a month ago.


Mayor Bob Edwards

Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett said there are another two roadways in the design stages for next year.

The two are improvements to St. Phillips from Bonita to Frontier Street, and to complete Mud Springs Road from Frontier Elementary School to Granite Dells Road.

The design for phase 1 of the Mud Springs Road project is now in progress.

Garrett said the list was comprised through residents' concerns and needs, and added the rest of the projects are in the same general category of the work that was done on McLane Road.

Each of the 23 roadway improvement projects will cost close to $1 million, most of which is funded through the state department of transportation.

The McLane Road project cost $1.2 million.

The problem, Garrett said, is the town only receives $1 million to $3 million a year to do these improvements.

If the town received full funding each year, it would take more than seven years to complete all of the road improvement projects that the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee recommended.

Garrett said the town is looking at revising the schedule since the last study was done more than two years ago.

"There are always new projects being added," he said.

Garrett went on to say the amount of traffic on roadways, their uses and conditions needs to be considered before starting to make improvements.

"If it's got low usage, we will put our money where it will benefit the most people, the Payson engineer said.

The town, he said, is hopeful that some of the road cost improvements will be picked up by contractors working for developers because they are required to provide streets for buyers.

Garrett also mentioned that Payson currently has a pavement maintenance schedule to apply a slurry seal pavement preservation surface coat to all town roads every seven years.

Payson Mayor Bob Edwards said the town will have a new task force soon to look at all of the roads in town and will work as an advisory group with the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee.

Edwards said the worst road area in Payson is Manzanita Drive from Highway 260 to Evergreen Street.

He added that Bonita Street is also a troubling spot, as well as St. Phillips because of the sidewalks in the area.

The mayor said the town and the council knows that funds need to be available to continue doing the road improvements.

"What we are trying to do is squeeze more money out of the budget to speed (things) up," Edwards said. "It is a long-range process."

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