Friday, August 22, 2014

Mountain Rides fine tunes Ketchum hub agreements

Plan on track for constructing transportation hub this fall

Express Staff Writer

A Mountain Rides Red Route bus waits at a bus stop in front of the Ketchum-Sun Valley Visitor Center on Sun Valley Road. Mountain Rides intends that a Ketchum Transportation Hub be built at the location with construction starting possibly in late October. Photo by Roland Lane

    The Mountain Rides Transportation Authority is getting its ducks in order for construction this fall of a transportation hub at the intersection of Sun Valley Road and East Avenue in Ketchum.
    Executive Director Jason Miller advised the organization’s board of directors at a Wednesday meeting that an invitation for bids is now out to find a construction contractor. Miller said he anticipates construction will start toward the end of October.
    Construction will mainly involve building “bulb outs,” ostensibly for pedestrian safety, at the four corners of the Sun Valley Road-East Avenue intersection. Mountain Rides also intends that the hub will have three bus shelters, lighting and signage for passenger information and new landscaping.
    The hub will serve as an information center and transfer point for five bus routes serving the Ketchum-Sun Valley area. As things now stand, Valley Route buses, which provide service between the north and south of the valley, will not be included in the transfer plan. Valley Route buses now traverse Ketchum on Main Street, which is two blocks west of the transportation hub location.
    At Wednesday’s meeting, the board of directors reviewed three agreements that the board plans to approve in September. Two of the agreements involve easements for the installation of bus shelters, while the third is an agreement between Mountain Rides and the city of Ketchum that specifies responsibilities of the two entities pertaining to the hub.
    The Mountain Rides-Ketchum agreement provides that maintenance and upkeep of the bus shelters and their locations be the responsibility of Mountain Rides. Electricity costs for bus-shelter heaters and digital signage will also be the responsibility of Mountain Rides, as will snow removal within the bus shelter and other passenger waiting areas.
    The city of Ketchum will be responsible for landscaping maintenance, litter and garbage removal, upkeep of sidewalks, the bulb outs, and curbs and gutter and for snow removal outside of the bus shelter and passenger waiting areas.
    The other two agreements are for easements for bus shelters. One will be built on the southeast corner of the intersection in front of The Elephant’s Perch store and two others will be built on the northwest corner of the intersection in front of the Visitor Center.
    The agreement for The Elephant’s Perch shelter would be between Mountain Rides and the property owner, listed in the draft agreement as C&D of Idaho Inc. The agreement provides an easement for five years only.
    “We tried to get it as long-term as possible and this was all we could get,” Miller said in response to questions from the board.
    The draft agreement for shelters at the Visitor Center provides an easement for 15 years and is between Mountain Rides and the property owner, the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency.

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