New â€˜Record of Decision' Clears Way to Start Building 19-Mile Utah Highway
FARMINGTON, UT The Utah Department of Transportation said it and the Federal Highway Administration issued a formal "record of decision" that clears the way for UDOT to start building a 19-mile highway between the cities of Farmington and West Point, Utah, in fast-growing western Davis and Weber counties.
The new, four-lane West Davis Corridor highway would connect with Interstate 15 north of Salt Lake City, Utah, on its eastern end and with SR 37 to the northwest. The document ends a seven-year process, and follows a final environmental impact statement that UDOT released.
"This decision has been reached carefully and with great respect for the collaborative efforts of thousands of stakeholders over several years," said UDOT Project Manager Randy Jefferies. "We will continue working closely with cities, agencies and other stakeholders as we move into the more detailed design for this new corridor."
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the first $610 million phase is expected to begin construction in 2020 and open to traffic two years later, after a period of design and property acquisition in 2018 and 2019.
In all, it said, changes from the original plan and inflation increased total costs for the highway from $600 million to $725 million.
The Tribune report also noted that the Utah Transportation Commission had "voted in May to use part of $1 billion the Legislature authorized to borrow through bonding over the next four years to help pay for this project."
UDOT has projected that the corridor will add 65 percent more households by 2040 and increase road congestion by 62 percent over that period without this project.
The new highway, the Tribune said, "will have noise-reducing pavement; lighting only at interchanges, specially designed to preserve dark skies and not interfere with nocturnal wildlife; 20 miles of trails; two lanes in each direction; and mostly ground-level construction so the road is not elevated.
It will allow commercial trucks, have a speed limit of 65 mph and allow billboards, the story said, although cities in the area will have the option of banning them.