KSL INVESTIGATES

Big trucks, rattled nerves: Marmalade residents at odds with late night truck traffic

Aug 24, 2021, 11:12 AM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — What if every 60 seconds, a construction vehicle rumbled through your neighborhood during the day and at all hours of the night?

The problem has plagued residents in Salt Lake City’s Marmalade neighborhood for at least the last 18 months. After they say their complaints have fallen on deaf ears with the Salt Lake City government, they reached out to KSL Investigators.

‘I can’t sleep at night’

Dan Love has lived in the Marmalade District neighborhood near 600 North and 300 West for more than a decade. He loves the people and location, but not the construction traffic.

“It’s not just noise,” said Love, “it’s a feeling. You can feel it. I can’t sleep at night because it’s 24-hour gravel operations.”

A handful of gravel companies and other industrial entities have been doing business along Beck Street for decades. But Love told us their cohabitation with Marmalade residents changed in the last couple of years.

“We’re at 24/7, seven days a week,” said Love. Before then, he claimed truck traffic was not occurring during the overnight hours. At times, Love said he periodically hears engine brakes engaged.

Looking at the video Love said he shot around 3 a.m. in June, you can see truck after truck driving down 300 West, after dark, to access Interstate 15 at the 600 North onramp.

Love said it’s not just the noise bothering the neighborhood. “You’ll see the dust, the dirt, the debris that comes out of (the trucks),” he said.

KSL Investigators sat along 300 West over several days and counted trucks rumbling down the street on average every 55 seconds.

Loud trucks repeatedly interrupted Mike Headrick’s interview with Salt Lake City resident Dan Love. (KSL TV)

Rules of the road

Beck Street and 300 West are also known as U.S. Highway 89. Heavy truck traffic has been allowed on this route for decades. While it is a state road, Salt Lake City has some jurisdiction over its traffic enforcement.

“It’s a public roadway,” said Jon Larsen, director of the city’s Transportation Division. “As long as you meet the standards to operate on the public right-of-way, you can operate on 300 West.”

KSL Investigators looked into these standards and found a couple of things: There is no start time or curfew on the books for truck operation.

“It’s the same as anyone else,” Larsen said. “You’re allowed to drive on the street anytime that it’s open, and the streets are open all day.” This means traffic at 3 a.m. is perfectly legal.

Utah law demands loads must be covered, unless “the highest point of the load does not extend above the top of any exterior wall.”

We spent days and nights watching trucks drive up and down 300 West, but did not see any violations in covered loads.

While the trucks are loud, our decibel meter did not detect noise above the 88-decibel threshold deemed a noise violation by the Salt Lake County Health Department. Air brakes are illegal on this route within city limits unless the driver must use them in an emergency.

Building boom means increased traffic

Salt Lake City’s downtown is a city on the rise — literally — as evidenced by the multiple cranes and construction sites across the skyline.

The 2020 State of Downtown Salt Lake City report outlined at least 13 multi-story construction projects currently being built or planned. More than 3,000 residential units will be added to the downtown neighborhoods.

We reached out to the construction businesses along Beck Street for comment.

(KSL TV)

According to Staker Parson Materials & Construction, they currently operate trucks around the clock. In a statement, their spokesperson told KSL, “We are responding to the needs of our customers and the significant increase of construction activity in downtown Salt Lake City. Our traffic has increased over the last two years due to greater customer demands of construction services and aggregate products.”

Marathon Petroleum told us they also operate around the clock, but their “traffic patterns have not changed over the past two years” and their “trucks don’t typically access our facility via 300 West.”

Emails to Utah Sand and Gravel, and Lakeview Rock Products, were not returned.

After our investigation, Love said the truck traffic and overnight noise have eased somewhat, with most traffic starting up in the early hours around 5 a.m. He said, “middle of the night” traffic now occurs “only two or three nights a week,” but said the early morning traffic is still “an eye-opener.”

Peacefully coexisting?

Love said he understands this is an area of cohabitation for industry and residents. “There’s not an evil in it,” he said, “it’s just, how do you get people to engage in common space to solve common sense problems?”

Love has spent the last couple of years engaged with city leaders, some of which he said stood and watched the traffic from his front lawn.

Larsen admitted there’s an issue but said there’s no quick solution to the problem. He doesn’t expect the building boom to slow anytime soon.

Long-term solutions could include upgrading the Warm Springs interchange, near the gravel pits, so trucks can access I-15 without going through the residential area. That solution would take five to 10 years to study, as well as significant funding and build time.


Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

Matt Gwyther (left) and Dennis Rowley Gwyther (right). (Photo Provided By: Matt Gwyther)...
Daniella Rivera

How mental health staffing shortages are delaying justice in Utah’s courts

A Utah man waiting for justice after the 2019 murder of his husband says staffing issues at the Utah State Hospital have contributed to months of delays in court.
2 days ago
...
Mike Headrick and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Newly built homes deemed unlivable due to sliding soil

If you want to know what a sinking home sounds like, just ask Eric and Carole Kamradt.
3 days ago
Brenda White cookies...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Rent prices down nationwide but very high in Utah

All over the country, the cost of rent is finally starting to go down. But that is not the case here in Utah.
5 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Cybersecurity experts caution shoppers to take it slow while shopping online

For many of us, Christmastime is magical. For scammers, it’s especially magical. Here's what to beware of when shopping online.
11 days ago
Gephardt makes butter...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Can you save money by making your own butter?

Prices for groceries are up, but the price we pay for butter is way, way up – to the point it will impact your holiday baking budget.
12 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Packed holiday flights: How SLC Int’l stacks up against US’s largest airports in delays and cancelations

Travelers, brace yourselves: holiday flights will be packed.
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Big trucks, rattled nerves: Marmalade residents at odds with late night truck traffic