The Grand County Commission unanimously approved the preconstruction and design of the Spanish Valley Drive multiuse pathway, a project that’s been in discussion at the county for several years.

“I’m super excited about this project,” said Commission Chair Jacques Hadler, “both from a recreational standpoint—I ride down that road a lot—but more from a transportation standpoint, with all the housing developments that are going in down there.”

The nonprofit Moab Area Community Land Trust is building a subdivision on Spanish Valley Drive called Arroyo Crossing that will eventually have about 300 units; other subdivisions are also underway along the corridor.

“I think it would be great for active transportation and commuting, getting people out of cars and riding into town,” Hadler said.

County Strategic Planning Director Chris Baird said the current vision is for a 10-foot wide pathway with two lanes, located on the west side of Spanish Valley Drive and separated from the road with a 5-foot buffer. The contract, with engineering company Jones & DeMille, is not to exceed $211,000 and includes preconstruction design of the anticipated first phase of the path, a section from the intersection with Mill Creek Drive to the Spanish Valley Drive bridge over Pack Creek.

The contract also includes partial design for future phases (the county hopes to eventually extend the pathway further south, to the border with San Juan County) as well as preparation of construction bid documents. Baird said construction on the first phase could begin as soon as this fall.

The county will be reimbursed for the project up to $2.7 million through a Recreation Hotspot funding award from the Utah Transportation Commission, dispersed through the Utah Department of Transportation.

Hotspot funding was originally awarded in 2018 when the Moab area competed with other recreational areas for the one-time grant award. At that time, the Moab area proposed a downtown parking garage and was awarded $10 million; subsequent local opposition to the parking garage project prompted community leaders to ask the Transportation Commission and UDOT for the opportunity to generate different project ideas.

That effort produced three projects that were approved by UDOT and the commission: a downtown parking revitalization project, a public transportation shuttle system, and the pathway. All three projects have made advancements, though none have been fully implemented.

The Grand County Commission meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 4 p.m. Meetings are streamed online at the Grand County Youtube channel. Schedules, agendas and opportunities for public comment can be found at www.grandcountyutah.net. Residents can email commission@grandcountyutah.net to automatically reach each County Commission member, the commission administrator, the associate commission administrator, and the county attorney.