West Jordan residents push for taller noise wall near Bangerter construction

Apr 23, 2018, 10:14 PM | Updated: Apr 24, 2018, 1:02 am

WEST JORDAN, Utah – Inching closer to Bangerter Highway is not something the Usher family planned on doing when they built their home along New Heritage Drive 12 years ago. Yet in the last several months, after saying goodbye to about a dozen homes demolished in UDOT’s expansion project, the immediate view from their front door is of the bustling traffic.

“We payed even more to be a row away from the busy highway,” Malcolm Usher said. “I mean I get it, we can’t halt progress.”

Usher said living through construction has been unbearable, but what he finds even more disturbing is UDOT’s plans for a noise wall that would separate his neighborhood from the highway.

“We were quite curious on why it wasn’t going back to how high it was before,” Usher said. “There used to be a wall behind the homes that were demolished and it was taller.”

Currently, there are only the wall’s pillars in place, but even that is worrying residents who are concerned about the noise and also the visual aspect of the neighborhood.

“I have nothing but a look (at) Bangerter Highway out my front door,” Usher said. “And the traffic, it’s noisy!”

UDOT said the wall is part of the plan they presented to residents months ago at open houses and technically isn’t needed to block sound.

Related: Utah drivers to face increased construction challenges on Bangerter Highway

“Anytime we do a new project we have a new noise study and it didn’t meet the requirements,” John Gleason, UDOT spokesperson said. “So we are going to put it in just because there was a preexisting noise wall already there.”

The city of West Jordan is in talks with UDOT to see if there is a possibility of making the wall taller.

“If we had the money we might do things differently, but we don’t have the funds that UDOT does,” West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding said. “And it’s their project so we’re just following what they’re doing.”

Related: 70th South closed as construction on Bangerter Hwy continues

Even though construction continues, Usher hopes UDOT will reconsider improving their plans.

“My thought is if you’re going to come in and destroy a neighborhood, you should at least put it back to the shape that it was before you came in,” he said.

UDOT said construction at 9000 South and Bangerter Highway would be wrapping up by November 2018.

Related: UDOT unveils top 10 projects for 2018

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West Jordan residents push for taller noise wall near Bangerter construction