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The City Journals

Multi-million dollar federal grant will transform the look of Redwood Road through Taylorsville

Feb 25, 2019 02:31PM ● By Carl Fauver

Covered UTA bus stops are expected to be a part of a Redwood Road beautification project, which could begin as soon as this summer. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

The old adage “you have to spend money to make money” was never truer, than when the Taylorsville City Council made the very easy and unanimous decision to spend $835,000.

That’s how much local taxpayers had to pony up for the city to receive nearly 20 times that much in federal tax money for a major facelift on both sides of Redwood Road, from 4100 to 5400 South.

“The city was approved to receive just under $13 million federal dollars through the Wasatch Front Regional Council,” said City Administrator John Taylor. “But to receive that funding, the city council had to approve a 6.6 percent match, or $835,000.”

City officials were told of their grant proposal approval years ago. Since then, they have waited for the funding to become available as Taylorsville worked its way up a list.

“A number of different committees have to review grant requests — including the State Transportation Commission and the Council of Mayors — before it is approved,” Taylor said. “(Taylorsville does) not actually receive the money. But we are involved in selecting the planning and design team and construction contractors. The funds are then paid directly by the Wasatch Front Regional Council to those doing the work.”

That project entails a major beautification along Redwood Road, from 4100 to 5400 South. It comes several years after a nearly identical project was completed on the much shorter stretch of Redwood Road, from 5400 South to the belt route (I-215) overpass.

“It has been a long time since Phase 1 (of the Redwood Road beautification project) was completed, and we are pleased to finally be able to move ahead with this second phase,” said Mayor Kristie Overson. “Mostly we want to do away with the visual clutter. This will include burying utility lines. Beautification walls will also be built along parts of the road. We want to give Redwood a more attractive, uniform look.”

Some separate driveways into Redwood Road businesses will also be combined to make access easier. Sidewalks will be overhauled and improved as needed. New street lights will be added along the corridor. And bus stop turnouts — to remove busses from the right travel lane — will be created as well.

“We also want to give the Taylorsville Cemetery (4550 South Redwood Road) the attention it deserves,” Overson said. “The cemetery belongs to the city, and we want to be sure we are caring for it properly. One thing I know they plan to do is improve the entryway.”

Taylor said the next step in the process is to hire a design team.

“That bid (was) put out in February,” he said. “City council members and Taylorsville employees have all shared different ideas about what should be done to improve Redwood Road. But now we need a professional team to analyze it and begin to determine what can be completed with the available funding.”

At this point no one is sure when construction work will begin.

“We are all anxious to see it get started, we hope sometime this summer,” Overson said. “But we also want to make sure we get it right. We want to give designers time to really look at the options. So, we just don’t know the timeline yet.”

The city council even passed a resolution specifically approving receipt of the federal grant funding for the “Redwood Mobility Project” weeks ahead of when such action would normally be taken, as part of the routine municipal budgeting process.

“We have been on the Wasatch Front Regional Council list for the funding at least ten years,” Councilman Brad Christopherson said. “Now that the money is finally available, we knew the sooner we passed the resolution, the sooner work could begin. We’re all tired of waiting for it, so we fast-tracked the vote.”

City officials hope to select a designer for the project by the end of March.

“We will have at least one public hearing on the project, hopefully this spring or summer,” Taylor said. 

“This will give Redwood Road better curb appeal and better lighting,” Council Chairman Dan Armstrong said. “It should be very positive, and I’m glad to see it finally happening.”