Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Green activists, neighbors blast new West Davis freeway plan

State says route will have least impact on wetlands and homes; residents, environmentalists disagree.

First Published May 16 2013 03:01 pm • Last Updated Dec 07 2013 11:31 pm

The Utah Department of Transportation on Thursday unveiled its preferred route for the new West Davis Corridor freeway — the northwestern extension of Legacy Parkway — that it says will best reduce congestion, be least expensive and have fewer impacts to existing homes, farms and wetlands.

But community and environmental groups blasted the plan, saying it will ruin rural neighborhoods and harm wildlife and wetlands. They argue the project is not needed and will help only developers as it leads to more urban sprawl.

At a glance

Public hearings on corridor plan

UDOT has scheduled three public hearings on its West Davis Corridor proposal. Each will have an open house beginning at 4 p.m., with a formal public hearing from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.:

June 11 » Legacy Events Center, 151 S. 110 West, Farmington

June 12 » West Point Junior High, 277 W. 550 North, West Point

June 13 » Freedom Elementary, 4555 W. 5500 South, Hooper

UDOT will also take comments for 90 days via email at westdavis@utah.gov; online at udot.utah.gov/westdavis; and by regular mail to 466 N. 900 West, Kaysville, UT 84037

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

UDOT proposes to start the new freeway at Glover Lane in Farmington, where it would have an interchange both with Legacy Parkway and Interstate 15. That is a couple miles south of the existing northern end of Legacy where it connects with I-15 and U.S. 89.

A different alternative would have started the freeway farther north at Shepard Lane and avoided routing the new freeway through western Farmington near the Great Salt Lake. But UDOT says the Shepard Lane alternative would have required removing more homes and was more complicated and expensive.

The preferred alternative also will follow closely Bluff Road as it travels northwest through Syracuse, instead of an alternative farther west nearer the Great Salt Lake. It will turn straight north and follow roughly 4100 West through West Point and Clinton to about 5500 South in Hooper.

A new four-volume, 1,444-page draft environmental impact statement predicts the route will cost $587 million (in 2012 dollars, including land acquisition), be 19.7 miles long, force relocating 26 homes and five businesses; and directly impact 52 acres of wetlands and 110 acres of prime farmland.

Low impact » That route "has clear advantages in serving the most traffic throughout the corridor," said Randy Jefferies, UDOT’s West Davis Corridor project manager. "It also has low impacts to homes, businesses, parks and historic properties. It has lower impacts to farmland … with minimal impact on high-quality wetlands."

He says the study figures the new freeway will reduce traffic congestion in west Davis and Weber counties by 60 percent from what it would otherwise be in 2040. UDOT will accept public comment on that study and preferred route for 90 days before making final decisions sometime next year.

Jefferies said the Glover Lane option provides more land for the interchange with I-15 and Legacy than would Shepard Lane. "This allowed us to have a conventional-type interchange with a single ramp for every movement and direction."

story continues below
story continues below

He added, "In Farmington, Glover Lane has no [home] relocations. Shepard Lane has 10."

But Bruce Bassett says his home near Glover Lane will be ruined and is frustrated that UDOT will not acknowledge that. He says UDOT told him the planned interchange will put roadways within 15 feet of two sides of his home.

"They say they don’t have to take the structure if they can stay 15 feet away from the house," he said. "My septic tank and my drain field are beyond that 15 feet. They still refuse to take that house. ... I believe they have some political motivation to keep that number [of announced removals] at zero" to push UDOT’S preferred alternative.

Ashley Graves, who also lives in the Glover Lane area, said the freeway will be 95 feet from her house. UDOT officials once told her that condemnation and buying it may be an option, she said, but more recently at a public meeting said "you have to be within 15 feet to be considered. … They are going to do whatever the heck they want."

Backyard freeway » Lori Kalt, president of Save Farmington, which opposes the Glover Lane option, said the freeway will destroy her quiet, rural area near Glover Lane.

"You’ve got a big freeway in your backyard. Your western views are gone. You’ve got noise pollution, air pollution," she said. "This is no Legacy Parkway. … There’s no restrictions on billboards. There’s no plans for noise mitigation."

Legacy Parkway has restrictions on truck traffic and billboards, lower speed limits and special noise-reducing pavement.

Environmental groups are unhappy with the state’s plan, too.

"This is simply another attempt by UDOT to facilitate sprawl and real-estate development, perpetuating its own choice to make west Davis County like the city of Los Angeles," said Tim Wagner, national representative of the Sierra Club.

Heather Dove, president of Great Salt Lake Audubon, said it will "be very bad for wildlife and wetlands." She said the extra noise, light and air pollution will interfere with lands used by 5 million birds that migrate through the area.

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.