Committee Meets; Public Safety is Main Concern of Canyon Springs Road Project
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – The public’s safety was the main concern at a meeting Thursday morning about the Canyon Springs Road Project.
An ad hoc committee formed last year to study the issue met in City Council Chambers. The committee was formed after concerns were brought to the city’s attention about rocks falling on the road, injuring pedestrians and drivers accessing Centennial Waterfront Park and Canyon Springs Golf Course.
There’s also concern about the road not being wide enough to safely accommodate both pedestrians and vehicles.
Assistant City Engineer Troy Vitek presented some suggestions for the committee to review, including installing signage that restricts pedestrian use; using traffic lights at the top and bottom of the grade to moderate traffic; and widening the road. He also mentioned the possibility of looking at other locations for separate walking trails in the vicinity.
“Restricting pedestrian use is hard to manage but it could be done,” he said. “The main concern is safety.”
Potential costs for the suggestions range from about $15,000 for signage to $6.5 million to widen the road and install a separate lane for pedestrians. The latter number arose after J-U-B Engineers and Strata developed a schematic of what the widening project would entail.
A widening project would involve blasting parts of the canyon, and so the city would have to make sure homes and infrastructure were protected. Vitek said the city wanted to look at other, perhaps more economically feasible options.
Using traffic lights that would moderate vehicle flow up and down the grade would cost around $400,000, but those could back up traffic at the top and bottom.
Committee member Linda Roberts said she thinks the city should look at not just one option, but several as it considers continued and future growth in the area. The more people who arrive in Twin Falls, she said, the more demand there is to use the canyon’s trails and roads.
Katie Breckenridge, a committee member who owns property near the road, got emotional during the meeting. She said there is a danger to users of the road by falling rocks and that something has to be done to improve safety sooner rather than later.
Vitek said there is no deadline on when the committee has to make recommendations to the city, but it likely will be “soon.” Forthcoming, committee members plan to make visits to the site and other locations in the vicinity.
“Funding is the big issue,” he said, noting that options for that are still forthcoming. “It’s something we have to take a closer look at.”