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Saratoga Springs hopes to prevent future traffic jams in possible evacuations
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Saratoga Springs hopes to prevent future traffic jams in possible evacuations

(Part of the traffic jam caused by the evacuations in Saratoga Springs. Credit: Randall Jeppesen, KSL Newsradio)

UTAH COUNTY – City leaders in Saratoga Springs acknowledge they need more roads getting out of town.  Some evacuees from the Knolls Fire tell KSL it took hours from them to get out of the restricted area because of traffic jams on Redwood Road.  However, the city working to create more ways to get out in case of an emergency.

Officials know Redwood is the only road leading north and south out of Saratoga Springs, and they understood traffic would be at a dead stop if they evacuated thousands of people all at once.  So, they staggered the orders as best they could.

City Spokesman David Johnson says, “The homes in the most danger at first were evacuated first.”

Considering there was only one major road for thousands of residents, Johnson believes the evacuation went as well as it could have.

“In this emergency situation and this evacuation, things went very smoothly.  Yes, it took time to get people out, but we were able to get people out in a timely manner and a safe manner,” he says.

Even after the evacuation orders were lifted, Johnson asked all non-residents to stay out of the southern portion of Saratoga Springs and the Lake Mountain area.  He says they didn’t want traffic to get any worse for people who wanted to come back home.

He says they’ve been looking into expanding and creating new roads for a while, not just for emergencies and traffic jams but to handle the rapid growth in their city.  To all the people irked over the fact that there’s only one major road out of Saratoga Springs, Johnson says the city agrees.

Johnson says, “It’s very important to us, as a city, to get another means for north and south transportation.”

They believe the best option is going to be the Mountain View Corridor, which would tie into Foothill Boulevard.  The city is working with developers and landowners to get the proper right of way and build additional infrastructure to speed up the extension.

“The Mountain View Corridor has been in discussion for quite some time.  It’s something that, as a city, we would like to see completed sooner rather than later because of the transportation needs that we have,” Johnson says.

 

RELATED LINKS – 

Knolls Fire Update: Evacuation order lifted but still possible, only 25% contained

How emergency officials help evacuees with COVID-19

Utah Fire Season: Do’s and Don’ts of fireworks during holiday weekend

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