BRYCE CANYON CITY – Utah’s expansive Garfield County now has its very first traffic signal after a $1 million renovation of Main Street in Bryce Canyon City and Gov. Gary Herbert was there to tour the completed project.
In addition to the traffic signal, the enhancements to Main Street include new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, and street lighting. The street’s new configuration will better accommodate tour busses and shuttles and will also provide connections for regional bike and walking trail systems.
Until now, the closest thing Garfield County has had to a traffic signal is a red blinking light at a four-way stop in Panguitch.
Bryce Canyon National Park receives approximately 1.3 million visitors every year. The only way to enter the park is through Bryce Canyon City, making the improvements to Main Street vital to pedestrian safety.
“Visitors from all over the world visit Bryce Canyon,” said Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock. “The new Main Street affords visitors a better, safer experience as they enter one of the nation’s most beautiful national parks.”
“It’s incredible to think that Garfield County has 5,000 square miles and only one stoplight,” said Bryce Canyon City Mayor David Tebbs. “We are proud of how our new Main Street adds modern conveniences while keeping the feel of the historic destination.”
For comparison, Garfield County’s total land area of 5,208 square miles is roughly the same size as the entire state of Connecticut – 5,543 square miles.
“We’re still as rural as you can get,” Tebbs said, “but now pedestrians headed to Bryce Canyon can safely cross the highway at the intersection’s crosswalk.”
Limiting light pollution was a high priority for the project. The new light poles and fixtures along Main Street were engineered to comply with recommendations from the National Park Service.
“Bryce Canyon has been classified as having one of the darkest skies in North America,” said Bryce Canyon National Park Superintendent Jeffrey Bradybaugh. “We appreciate the extra effort the city went to in order preserve our ability to see thousands of stars on a nightly basis.”
Funds from the Federal Highway Administration, Utah Community Impact Board, and Bryce Canyon City paid the improvements. The project was completed under the direction of the Utah Department of Transportation’s Region 4 Office, and Bryce Canyon City with assistance from Ruby’s Inn.
Project contributors were: Jones and Demille Engineering in Richfield, engineering; Stapp Construciton in Salt Lake City, general contracting; Straight Strip Painting in Cedar City, Painting; Western Rock in Cedar City, landscaping; and D&D Electric in Cedar City, project electrical.
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