LOCAL NEWS

Residents raise questions as UDOT lays out options for future Farmington interchange

Jan 6, 2023, 11:02 AM | Updated: 11:03 am

FARMINGTON, Utah — City Hall’s council chambers drew a full house Thursday night as residents showed up to a community meeting to raise questions about the Utah Department of Transportation’s future plans for a potential new interchange.

UDOT is in the middle of what it has called an “Alternatives Phase” of a broader look at what to do about Interstate 15 from 400 South in Salt Lake City up to U.S. Highway 89 in Farmington.

In particular, dozens of residents showed up to offer their input about three alternatives for a potential interchange or on- and off-ramps in roughly the Glovers Lane and 200 West area.

Under a possible plan labeled “Option A,” crews would eventually install a southbound on-ramp and northbound off-ramp on 200 West. Under “Option C,” UDOT would construct an entire interchange on 200 West.

(UDOT) (UDOT) (UDOT)

Under “Option B” — which appeared to bring out numerous people Thursday night over concerns homes would be claimed — crews would construct a single-point urban interchange (SPUI) at Glovers Lane. A possible design showed the SPUI making a significant incursion into a neighborhood to the east.

Though several people at the meeting stated that they had been told previously that Option B was UDOT’s preferred option, UDOT officials that were present underscored that was not the case and that all potential options were viewed as equally possible.

UDOT director of environmental services Brandon Weston also said another potential option would be to construct nothing at all, though he acknowledged UDOT was expecting the population of the area in question to “nearly double” by 2050.

“The takeaway message is we are here to learn, we are here to listen,” Weston said. “People get nervous when they see lines on maps and that’s understandable, but we get the opportunity to come out and tell them what those lines mean, how much work has gone into them and how much work needs to be done and so we can take their input and hopefully calm some of their fears and then use that to come back with something that’s more informative in the future.”

Weston said UDOT at this point didn’t even have a precise number of homes that would be impacted under the possible circumstance that Option B became the reality.

Weston said the plan was to do more study in the coming months on all the options — including the public input received — and come up with a draft environmental impact statement about eight months down the road.

Residents who showed up to the meeting questioned why the construction couldn’t take up more space west of the freeway. They also expressed concerns about potentially drawing far more traffic to what has been a walkable neighborhood and community.

James and Sharlae Rich after the meeting said the traffic issue was a significant concern to them going forward.

“It would totally change the character of the neighborhood,” James Rich said of Option B. “It’s not something that’s done across the I-15 corridor to have it in a residential neighborhood.”

Sharlae Rich said that based on her own interpretation of the map, Option B as it currently exists on paper could take out a dozen houses.

“We have a junior high, a high school and an elementary school right in that area,” Rich said. “We’ve got children that are walking to school, teenagers driving to school — there’s just not a need for it and that was our main concern is just we don’t want to bring that kind of traffic into an area that’s just not going to be expanding.”

Weston said people still had until Jan. 13 to formally provide their input to UDOT.

“Anybody that’s lived here for 10 or 15 years knows that we’ve been growing fast for a long time and it’s going to continue,” Weston said. “We need to be prepared and we need to look forward into the future so we can accommodate the growth that we’re going to see.”

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Residents raise questions as UDOT lays out options for future Farmington interchange