The August edition of The Eagle’s View is ready for your enjoyment. This month, we learn more about freight containers and their impact on agriculture and about an effort to provide support for Monarchs and milkweed. Read here.

Since its humble beginnings as the Eagle Mountain Street Fair, ShopFest has quickly become one of Utah’s largest and most popular shop local events.

Each year, thousands of patrons gather at Cory B. Wride Memorial Park to support hundreds of Utah small and home-based businesses.

Attendance at ShopFest increases year after year, challenging all involved to make the event bigger and better than the last. Rachael Smith, ShopFest coordinator, is up to the challenge.

“I’m just excited to be a part of the event itself,” Smith says. “I’m excited that I got the opportunity to do this, and I’m excited for what can happen next year. I’m always looking to the future because this year’s going to be incredible, and I think next year is going to be even better.”

Prior to accepting the position of ShopFest coordinator in March, Smith had nine years of event planning experience.

Much like ShopFest, she started out small – assisting with festivals and fundraisers at her children’s charter school. From there, she began planning larger events as a children’s pastor at a church in Draper where she headed up several large, week-long events around Easter, Christmas and other holidays. After a year, Smith was hired at another church where she coordinated large community events that attracted thousands of people. 

“I had applied for the admin. position in the Chamber [of Commerce],” she says. “But after my interview, they called me and said they would love to have me as [ShopFest coordinator]. I was happy to take it, that was amazing.”

Upon being hired in March, Smith hit the ground running — working to secure more sponsorships for this year’s ShopFest event. Smith says that ShopFest has partnered with 25 sponsors this year and has had to turn some away due to overwhelming interest.

In addition to financial support, Smith takes pride that many of this year’s ShopFest sponsors also provide valuable services to the community. One small business, for instance, aides addicts and their families through recovery.

This year’s ShopFest is anticipated to be bigger and better than last year’s event. Patrons will be able to enjoy inflatables and hot air balloons. While preparing for this year’s event, Smith says she is also working to obtain certification for festivals and large events, opening the door to greater possibilities in ShopFest’s future.

“I want to grow my knowledge to do things that are going to benefit what I’m actually working on,” Smith says. “This one’s going to be amazing, because I would love how fun it would be to end ShopFest with a huge concert.”

In addition to the hot air balloons, inflatables and concerts, Smith would also like to add a car show to the ShopFest schedule as soon as next year.

Of course, the heart of ShopFest will always be the small businesses. More than 300 will participate in this year’s event. Vendors ranging from boutiques to services to non-profits and everywhere in between are slated to participate.

“Small businesses give more back to the community,” says Smith. “Over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy if every U.S. family spent just $10 a month at a local business. Small business is ridiculously impactful for not just our local community, but our entire economy.”

According to Smith, volunteers are just as essential to the success of ShopFest as the vendors are. ShopFest volunteers can sign up for various shifts, such as vendor check-in, booth set-up, cleaning and maintenance. Smith believes one of the most important jobs a volunteer can do is assist the vendors with their needs.

“Our vendors are going to be busy all day,” she says. “To have somebody come and say ‘hey, do you need water? Can I get you anything? How’s it going?’ It’s important that our vendors know they have somebody who cares about how they’re doing that day.”

ShopFest is currently looking for 60 volunteers for various assignments. Each volunteer will receive a free hat or shirt, and individuals who volunteer for shifts over three hours will also be provided with free lunch donated by Chick-fil-A.

Smith says one of her favorite parts about ShopFest is that it brings people from all over the state to Eagle Mountain.

“I love being able to bring people out to us…and show off some of what is happening around Eagle Mountain,” she explains. “I love so much that we have [ShopFest] in Eagle Mountain because we’re not as far away as people think anymore and we’re getting bigger and bigger.”

ShopFest will take place at Cory B. Wride Memorial Park on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Eagle Mountain drivers may soon notice added convenience during rush hour traffic.

The lengthening of the left turn lane at the intersection of westbound Pony Express Pkwy. and Ranches Pkwy. is scheduled to begin July 25.

The intersection regularly reports traffic back-ups due to the high volume of vehicles waiting to turn left onto northbound Ranches Pkwy., particularly during rush hour.

Chris Trusty, Eagle Mountain City engineer, says that not only are such back-ups inconvenient, but they also present safety concerns.

“It would be considered a safety hazard because of the back-up that [it has],” says Trusty. “Cars may not always realize that the car in front of them is going to stop in the through lane because they’re trying to get over to turn left.”

Beginning July 25, crews will work to lengthen the left-turn lane by 180 ft., bringing its total length to 340 ft. By lengthening the lane, City engineers hope to mitigate back-ups at the intersection.

Trusty says that lengthening the left-turn lane on eastbound Pony Express Pkwy. should alleviate some of the safety concerns.

According to Trusty, the turn lane expansion work is part of a larger project to improve four intersections throughout the city. The total project budget for the four intersections is about $2 million. The budget for the Pony Express Pkwy. and Ranches Pkwy. intersection improvements is a small portion of that, estimated at $110,000.

“We wanted to do it as part of a [large] project because it’s such a small project,” says Trusty. “We decided to include this as part of our signal package…We get better prices if it’s part of a larger project.”

Throughout the duration of construction, one lane will be closed in both directions on Pony Express Pkwy. Residents are encouraged to find alternate routes to help alleviate traffic congestion during the construction period.

Work is anticipated for completion prior to Aug. 15 to ensure a smooth flow of traffic for the beginning of the school year on Aug. 16.

Residents who have questions about the lengthening of the left-turn lane or the intersection improvement project can reach out to Engineer-in-training Bryce McRae at bmcrae@emcity.org.

Construction related to the Smith Ranch Park expansion project began in mid-May.  

In addition to expanding the area of the park, a new playground, skatepark and ninja course are also included in the project plans. 

“After this is developed the whole park will be about a 16-acre park,” says Brad Hickman, director of Parks and Recreation with Eagle Mountain City. 

The park is situated adjacent to Pony Express Elementary School. 

According to Hickman, the park was designed with the nearby Tickville Wash, and its native vegetation, in mind. Accommodation for local plant and animal species allows the native areas that border the wash to remain largely undisturbed.  

Any areas of the wash that are affected by construction will be replanted with native vegetation upon construction completion, according to Hickman.  

Recently released renderings of the park include a walking path that borders the Tickville Wash, connecting the east and west portions of the park.  

Currently, Smith Ranch Park is known for its Exceptional Kids Playground, which is designed for children with adaptive needs. While this playground is planned to be removed as part of the expansion, Hickman says that the new playground will feature accessible equipment for individuals of all abilities. 

“It’s going to be replaced with several other features that will be all-abilities,” Hickman says. “It’s going to be really friendly and usable for those with disabilities.”  

The new playground will include play areas specifically designed for younger children, as well as play areas designed with older children in mind.  

Unlike other municipal parks, the playground at Smith Ranch Park has been custom designed. Residents can expect a unique play experience as a result.  

A skatepark has also been included as part of the park’s expansion. The future skatepark is partially funded by a $200,000 grant secured by Eagle Mountain City through the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation. It will be the second skatepark within City limits. 

The new skatepark will cater to residents of all skill levels, including those who are just beginning through advanced skateboarders. This state-of-the-art design will allow residents to progress their skills over time. 

“We worked with the skate park community…and got feedback from them,” Hickman says. “And we got some feedback from some really involved parents in the community.”  

For residents who are looking for a greater physical challenge, an X-treme Ninja Course is included in the plans for the park’s expansion. The course is planned to cater to a variety of athletic abilities.  

The course will also include a timer so that participants can track their speed as they make their way through each obstacle.  

Every aspect of Smith Ranch Park has been designed specifically with Eagle Mountain’s family-focused and physically active community in mind.  

Hickman says that he anticipates construction will be completed on the park by spring 2024.  

View the official renderings of Smith Ranch Park.

EM Blvd. restriping underway this week

To this point, weather has stymied the completion of work to repaint the lanes on Eagle Mountain Blvd.

That is about to change as contract workers are planning to begin work on Thursday of this week to apply paint to the roadway.

“I am looking forward to getting the traffic paint restriped” says Streets department manager Zac Hilton.

A section of Eagle Mountain Blvd. was widened in the summer of 2022 to accommodate projected increases in traffic flows in the area. As part of that project, the City intended to use the help of an outside firm to begin restriping.

City Engineer Chris Trusty has previously said he recognizes that the road was striped in less-than-ideal conditions after the widening project was completed last year.

“The road was a little bit dirty when we did it before and it was cold,” Trusty said. “And we don’t want to make that mistake again.”

Dirt on the roadway can prevent road paint from properly adhering to the pavement.

After noticing a change in the presence of the road paint last year, many residents began expressing their dissatisfaction on social media, and through formal complaints to the City that Eagle Mountain Blvd. was dangerous to drive.

“I drove that this morning in the rain! The lines at Aviator and EM Blvd are not visible at all! Striping needs to happen ASAP,” said Hillary Clark on social media.

“Breaking News: Eagle Mountain City not doing something that was promised…” said Richard Beers in another Facebook comment.

In response to earlier resident concerns, the City’s Street’s department installed reflective road tags to improve visibility. Still, Eagle Mountain City continues to respond to resident requests to complete the work.

“I understand resident’s concerns and frustration with the missing traffic paint,” says Hilton. “It has really been an issue between scheduling and dealing with poor weather.”

Delays surrounding the restriping of Eagle Mountain Blvd. can be attributed to factors such as cold weather and precipitation. Conditions must be consistently between 40-60 degrees at a minimum for three or four days before they’re considered optimal for restriping.

As a result, Hilton says the cost to risk restriping the roadway wasn’t worth it to the City and the taxpayer.

“If we would have attempted to re-stripe during these types of weather conditions, it wouldn’t have lasted,” says Hilton.

As work commences this week to complete repainting on Eagle Mountain Blvd., crews will be removing what is left of the existing paint, cleaning the road to ensure a lasting application and begin re-directing traffic. Due to mechanical issues earlier in the day on Thursday, the re-alignment portion of Eagle Mountain Blvd. will be rescheduled for Tuesday of next week.

The hope, according to Trusty, is that by waiting until conditions are appropriate, road paint will last for several years. Periodic touch-ups will be needed annually.