A major blemish on ritzy Bountiful Boulevard - a 1/2-mile stretch of dirt and potholes - is slated to be paved within a year.

From its vantage point along the Lake Bonneville shoreline, Bountiful Boulevard presides over south Davis County beginning at 400 North and going southward amidst the imposing LDS temple and large, elegant homes. The Infinitis and Lexuses of east-side residents ply the asphalt, and pedestrians stroll along the sidewalks enjoying a drop-dead view.But then, at 4200 South, the stately thoroughfare suddenly loses its dignity. For about 1/2 mile, the smooth asphalt is replaced by a dirt road complete with rocks, bumps, puddles and mud. Half the road bears the remnants of a long-ago paving attempt, serving more as a host for Volkswagen-size potholes than a facilitator of traffic.

The boulevard continues in this debased fashion to the borders of North Salt Lake, where it is resurrected to its former glory and given a new name: Eagle Ridge Boulevard, maintaining the Eagle-wood area's penchant for all things avian. It makes a final triumphant sweep through the well-to-do area before ending on the south side of Eaglewood Golf Course.

The stretch of dirt road can catch motorists not familiar with the area unawares. A driver barreling along Bountiful Boulevard paying more attention to the scenery than the road could suddenly find himself going over the end of the pavement with a WHAM!, dodging ravenous potholes and wondering whether his transmission has decided to terminate its longstanding and heretofore friendly relationship with the undercarriage.

Nearby residents, especially those in the Eaglewood area, have complained about the stretch for some time now. It dirties and damages their cars, they say, and is unsafe in winter. What's more, school buses that can't negotiate the grade of Eaglewood Drive are forced instead to negotiate the vagaries of "Thunder Road," as residents have dubbed the stretch, without so much as a push-button four-wheel-drive to assist them.

North Salt Lake can't do anything to improve the road - it's outside their boundaries - and Bountiful city officials point out that the road is on private property, precluding them from making improvements unless they condemn it - an admittedly drastic solution.

A former property owner occasionally fenced off the road to keep drivers from coming through. Each attempt met with failure - people just tore down or forced open the fence and buzzed on through.

"It's actually not even a street," said Bountiful planner Blaine Gehring, "(but) after someone's been using it for so long they feel like it's theirs and they have a right to it."

View Comments

Happily for residents, however, a solution to the Thunder Road problem is at hand. The Boyer Company and others are in the procedural stages of developing the adjacent land and have agreed with the city to install a paved road as part of the first development phase.

A 30-lot subdivision is slated for the west side of the street, with 125 lots planned for the east.

Developers have won approval from the Planning Commission, having resolved various sticking points including the location and financing of a new water tank for the area and annexation of part of the land that was situated in the county. They have yet to receive final approval from the City Council, but that will likely happen soon.

If all goes according to plan, Thunder Road will cease to exist by next fall.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.