Eastern Utah Regional Connection
Priority Project of the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition
SR-88 (Seep Ridge Road) currently extends through Uintah County. This project will extend the road approximately 41 miles to the south, and will intersect with Interstate 70 on the eastern side of Grand County. Much of this corridor will serve existing active or inactive oil or gas above and below ground pipelines, with connecting roadways and pipelines to active or inactive oil & gas production locations.
Improving and extending the existing corridor would provide the region with new connectivity to interstate rail. The current, circuitous route from the Basin to I-70 is not feasible for most industries. Recent economic studies show that opportunity costs of up to $30 billion dollars exist if the Uinta Basin transportation infrastructure is not improved to support economic opportunities.
The SR-88 to I-70 Connector is expected to generate over $172 million in direct transportation cost savings over a 30-year period. These would include about $98 million in travel time savings and $62 million in vehicle operating cost savings (e.g., reduction in fuel consumption). These benefits are a direct result of improved network connectivity and reductions in vehicle miles traveled (32,000 miles per day in 2040).
In addition, the project would generate long-term economic impacts and additional state and local tax revenue from incremental oil and gas operations in the Uinta Basin. The improved corridor will help alleviate regional transportation capacity constraints, and thereby contribute to the expansion of the oil and gas industry. (These indirect effects were estimated with results from the 2013 Uinta Basin Energy and Transportation Study (UBETS)).
It is estimated that over $900 million in additional business sales (output) could be generated over a 30-year period, along with about 350 permanent jobs. State and local tax revenue would increase by about $87 million (30-year total).
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The Seven County Infrastructure Coalition is a public implementation and ownership entity that allows its members to build essential regional infrastructure elements that span across county lines. The Coalition’s main roles are to identify revenue-producing infrastructure assets that will benefit the region. Its mission is to plan infrastructure corridors, procure funding, permit, design, secure rights-of-way and own such facilities.