Red Light, Green Light, GO!

100 South in Heber gets a new stoplight.

One of the city’s busiest intersections is becoming much safer. A new traffic light is being added to 100 South and 300 West. This road is also State Highway 113 and is managed by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). The department has been doing a “warrant study” to determine if there was a need in that location, and their analysis showed that the stoplight was necessary to maintain the safety of the road. UDOT is also adding left-turn lanes on 100 South and crosswalks in all four directions.

“These added safety features just make that intersection safer for everyone who uses it,” said UDOT spokesperson Geoff Dupaix. “It makes it a lot more traffic and pedestrian-friendly.” This intersection is currently used for school crossing and is also a main connection point between Heber and Midway.

This area has an interesting potential future. The area is zoned as R-3, with an RC Overlay Zone. An R-3 zone is generally located near the main city area, and can have single-family homes, but also apartments and community facilities. Usually, commercial business is not allowed. However, the RC Overlay Zone provides some additional uses for the area. This residential/commercial overlay corridor runs along 100 South, from 100 West to 100 South.

The RC Overlay is still primarily residential, but it allows for limited types of businesses. Any commercial use, however, must maintain a residential look through small, individual, historic-looking buildings. Currently, the only business on the intersection is the Heber Senator Bed and Breakfast, housed in the 1902 Joseph Murdock home.

According to Dupaix, future possibilities were not a factor in this particular situation. However, UDOT is constantly collecting data on all their state roads to measure how well their transportation system is working. The new stoplights should be in operation on Monday.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.