SYRACUSE — After some public uproar over changes to the West Davis Corridor, the Utah Department of Transportation says its new route will have fewer impacts and will cost less money than the old one.
But a group of Syracuse residents says a number of human impacts aren’t being considered.
Earlier this year, UDOT tweaked one of its final two alternatives for the proposed corridor, resulting in changes that would save nearly 40 acres of prime farmland in Syracuse.
The West Davis Corridor moved its Alternative B farther east in Syracuse, where it will run along a portion of Bluff Road.
The new option pleased those in the farming community, but residents who live near Bluff Road began voicing opposition.
The state’s previous option in Syracuse ran closer to 3000 West.
UDOT recently released an impact analysis comparing the two options.
The original option at 3000 West would have required 13 residential relocations and four business relocations. It also would have required the state to purchase 163 acres of right of way.
The Bluff Road option requires 14 residential relocations and three business relocations. It will require the state to purchase 140 acres of right of way.
The state will save nearly $4 million with the Bluff Road option, which will cost an estimated $91.6 million. The 3000 West option would have carried a $95.4 million price tag.
The 3000 West option would have required more total miles of pavement for the road and would have included more structures over existing local roads, according to UDOT.
Both options affect essentially the same number of wetlands acres.
Julie Bachman, who represents Citizens for a Better Syracuse, said that, while on the surface the Bluff Road option has a lower cost and fewer impacts, it is nearly impossible to quantify the most harmful impacts.
Bachman said if the Bluff Road option is chosen, home values in the densely populated area will depreciate, noise and air pollutants will affect residents’ health, and connectivity among neighborhoods, trails and parks will be lost — all factors more important than cost.
“We (CFBS) feel the first option would have less negative impacts,” Bachman said.
“It is a less-populated area and would not split the city in half. There are some things much more important than money.”
This summer, UDOT hopes to complete a draft environmental impact statement on the road. Once that is complete, UDOT will submit the report to the Federal Highway Administration.
A final route decision is expected next year.