Ketchum officials aim to make busy city road safer

Sun Valley Road is popular with both motorists and pedestrians
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 4:51 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KETCHUM, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — If you’ve visited Ketchum, you’ve probably been on Sun Valley Road, a popular pathway for drivers and pedestrians. Now, city officials are looking to make changes to the roadway with safety at the forefront of discussions.

It’s a two-fold project starting with the road itself, as its age is showing in the form of heavy ruts.

“Most roads have a total useful life, if they’re pretty busy roads, from 15 to 20 years before they have to be rebuilt,” said Ketchum City Administrator Jade Riley.

The second element of this project is aimed at improving pedestrian safety and ADA accessibility.

“We’ll, at each intersection, be looking to redo the curb cuts to do best practice so that the pedestrian is on equal footing with the motorist from a safety perspective,” Riley said.

At the intersection of Sun Valley Road and East Avenue, for example, officials are hoping to replace current curbs with curb extensions also called bulb-outs.

One of the intersections aimed to be improved on Sun Valley Road in Ketchum.
One of the intersections aimed to be improved on Sun Valley Road in Ketchum.(City of Ketchum)

These extensions reduce pedestrian crossing distance, lower vehicle turn speeds and allow both drivers and those looking to cross the road to see each other better.

It also provides the necessary space to install ADA-compliant ramps on sidewalks that would’ve otherwise been too narrow, all-in-all making for a safer experience for everyone.

The project is currently set to cost just over $2 million with those funds coming from the city’s Capital Improvement Plan; but, officials say that price isn’t set in stone.

“We are working with our design firm to look at some alternates to potentially bring those costs down,” said Riley.

Ketchum is not the only city looking to improve this road, either. The City of Sun Valley possesses the remainder of the road east of the Ketchum border and the two cities are coordinating their projects with the goal of getting the most competitive bids from contractors.

Bid opening is set to begin in March with construction tentatively slated to start in May.

More information on this road improvement project will be discussed in the next Ketchum City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 22nd. The meeting begins at 4 pm MT and can be viewed here.

Copyright 2022 KMVT/KSVT. All rights reserved.