West Davis Corridor gets federal approval, though tweaks could be made

Wednesday , October 04, 2017 - 5:15 AM

MITCH SHAW, Standard-Examiner Staff

KAYSVILLE — After more than seven years, the plan for the West Davis Corridor has finally been solidified — sort of.

On Tuesday, the Utah Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration released the “Record of Decision” for the $725 million, 19-mile alternative to Interstate 15.

UDOT spokesman John Gleason said the decision represents the final step in the environmental impact process for the road and construction will begin in 2020, with the corridor opening to the public by 2022.

RELATED: West Davis Corridor a done deal, pending one final federal approval

Although the $610 million first phase of the road has been funded by the legislature and the route has been decided, Project Manager Randy Jefferies said there is some wiggle room for UDOT  make small shifts in the alignment and add features to the project.

Final design and property acquisition for the highway will take place in 2018 and 2019, Jefferies said, and UDOT will be working with Davis County, cities and other stakeholders as they make their way through that process.

Story continues below map. 

“The route is (decided), but in the final design phase, there are a lot of details we’ll look at,” Jefferies said. “Basically, looking at ways to further minimize impacts.”

Jefferies said that could include adding additional aesthetic items to the project like landscaping, protective berms and buffer zones — but the state could also tweak the route, ever so slightly, to avoid certain infrastructure conflicts in utility corridors and on other properties.

He used western Davis County farms as an example. If the corridor bisects a farm, Jefferies said, UDOT could slightly shift the route of the road to avoid the most heavily used or most productive portions of the farm. 

RELATED: West Davis Corridor plans spur concerns about sewer rates, noise, pollution

Jefferies said UDOT has already identified specific areas of conflict — like where the route bisects the Central Davis Sewer District in western Kaysville and where it conflicts with the Layton Canal in Syracuse and West Point —  and could make tweaks in those places to soften impacts.

The final route for the corridor will begin in Farmington, connecting with I-15 and the Legacy Parkway at Glovers Lane, and will terminate at 1800 North in West Point. The new road will connect to existing state highways and city streets through six new interchanges.

UDOT says the new highway will reduce traffic congestion west of I-15 in Weber and Davis by 35 percent as soon as it opens. Without the corridor, travel delay in the area would increase 60 percent by 2040.

The state will have to acquire as many as 34 homes and 9 businesses to make way for the highway. The properties are dotted throughout western Davis County. UDOT has already purchased dozens of properties in the path of the corridor, sporadically buying properties on a willing-seller/willing-buyer basis.

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mitchshaw.standardexaminer/.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.