KAYSVILLE -- The Davis County Chamber of Commerce has officially thrown their support to the state's recommendation for the West Davis Corridor.
On Wednesday, the chamber's Executive Board ratified a recommended position statement from the Davis Chamber Legislative Affairs Committee taking a support position on the Utah Department of Transportation's recent announcement of a preferred route for the West Davis Corridor.
In May, UDOT released its recommendation for the corridor, a 20-mile, $587 million extension of the Legacy Parkway that would weave its way through western Davis County. A detailed map of the route can be found at www.udot.utah.gov/westdavis.
"Based on information gathered, we believe the study is thorough and the conclusions are sound," reads a position statement put out by the chamber. "We support the recommendations as presented."
Jim Smith, president and CEO of the chamber, said while the chamber has not previously taken a stance on a specific route for the corridor, information released along with UDOT's latest recommendation has pushed them to do just that.
"We've always recognized the need for an additional main artery along the west side of Davis County," Smith said. "(But now) we feel that UDOT has followed the process closely and the final recommendation is supported by the facts as well as good science."
The chamber's letter of support says that based on current population and growth projections over the next 30 years, the road is needed to supplement Interstate 15, which has become notoriously congested through southern Davis County.
The road will take 26 homes, five businesses and have a direct impact on 110 acres of prime farmland, but has the least number of impacts to homes, businesses, historic properties, parks, farmland and agricultural areas of the eight final possible iterations of potential alternatives.
Smith said that while the road is essential, the chamber understands that building the road is an emotional issue, particularly for those whose property and lives are impacted. But the chamber is encouraged by UDOT's effort to solicit participation from all stakeholders in this process.
While they support UDOT's choice, Smith said he and the chamber feel that it is vital for the state to continue to work with local municipalities to enhance access points to the proposed road.
"There are significant economic reasons to have more on and off ramps than have been proposed," Smith said. "This is an issue best worked out with the local municipalities, but which we do not want to see ignored."
Farmington City has been vocal about the need for more connections ever since UDOT nixed an interchange at Shepard Lane.
"Without that interchange, we're kind of left out of the loop," said Farmington City Millheim said. "So we want to make sure there are some kind of meaningful linkages to our city."
The chamber's support for the project comes just days after hundreds of Top of Utah residents protested the road at a Tuesday public hearing held by UDOT at the Farmington Legacy Events Center.
Protestors at the event said the road is not needed and that money for the road could be better spent elsewhere, like subsidizing FrontRunner and making it cheaper for people to commute more often.
On the same day, the Davis County Commission withdrew a letter of support similar to the chamber's, saying more public input needed to be gathered.
The Federal Highway Administration is expected to make a final call on the road next spring.