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State Street upgrade completed after 18 years of lobbying

Published September 26, 2012 7:54 am

Transit • Midvale mayor says it's "a dream come true."
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Midvale • After 18 years of work, the long-dreamed-of day for Mayor JoAnn Seghini finally arrived Tuesday — completion of an upgrade to a neglected section of State Street between 6400 South and 8100 South.

"I think you are going to see development on State Street in Midvale" now, she said at a completion ceremony. "If you go on that length of street, you can see there has been no development. It was not an attractive street. It was not a street that anybody wanted to invest their dollars or their future."

One problem there, the mayor explained, was even determining where private property ended and where the street began. Seghini said state highway officials told her that finding the right of way "is easy, it's from curb to curb. I said, 'We don't have any. We have no curbs. We have no sidewalks. We have no drainage.' "

But the stretch does now.

The $13.5 million project added two lanes, milled and repaved the road, upgraded utilities, added new storm drains, put in new lighting, realigned and improved five intersections, and added sidewalks and curbs.

Peter Tang, manager of the project for the Utah Department of Transportation, said it was the stretch of State Street that went the longest without an upgrade. He said the project took a little longer than hoped — but still is being finished on schedule — because of deteriorating utilities and the discovery of foundations of old houses beneath the roadway.

For the project, Seghini lobbied the Legislature, the Utah Transportation Commission and regional planners for 18 years. She said she once attended a meeting of the Wasatch Front Regional Council that ended without her mentioning the project, and others joked about it — so she brought it up again.

Meghan Holbrook, a Transportation Commission member, remembers Seghini brought her to the stretch on a rainy day to show her the deep puddles that formed. Without sidewalks, they saw schoolchildren standing in mud waiting for buses and being sprayed by cars driving through the rainwater. Holbrook said that sold her on an upgrade.

Fittingly, Tuesday was also rainy — and Seghini proudly pointed out that no puddles were forming.

"It enhances the opportunity for all the businesses on the State Street corridor now," Murray Mayor Dan Snarr said of the upgrade, part of which is in his city. "People are not going to go down State Street and throw up water on people."

"You have no idea what this day means to me," Seghini said. "It is a dream come true."

ldavidson@sltrib.com