OGDEN -- The Utah Department of Transportation is extending its public comment period on the West Davis Corridor after receiving a record number of comments on the highly controversial road.
UDOT Region One Director Kris Peterson told the Utah State Transportation Commission last week that the transportation department has already received nearly 680 formal comments since the release of its preferred alternative for the road in early May.
Peterson said the West Davis study has yielded more comments than any other project he has ever seen, and because interest in the road is obviously high, UDOT will double the comment period from 45 days, which is required by federal law, to 90 days.
"We just feel like there are some significant public issues that need a chance to be addressed further," Peterson said. "We're still taking all of the input we can get, and we'll use that in the final decision."
UDOT's preferred alternative for the road is a 20-mile, $587 million extension of Legacy Parkway that would weave its way through western Davis County.
The state's preference for the road would take 26 homes and five businesses and will have a direct impact on 110 acres of prime farmland.
Environmental and citizens groups, such as Utahns for Better Transportation, the Sierra Club and Friends of the Great Salt Lake, have come out against the road and have asked the state to undertake an additional study of an alternative-build solution that does not include a new road.
Roger Borgenicht, co-chairman of Utahns for Better Transportation, said an alternative that is based on improving existing infrastructure and integrating transportation and land-use development to reduce automobile congestion would better suit Utahns than another new highway.
Peterson said a final decision on the road won't come until next year, and the department is considering all of its options -- including the one put forward by the coalition of environmental and citizens groups.
"We are absolutely going to consider everything that's been put out there," Peterson said.
With the extension in place, the state will now be accepting comments on the corridor until Aug. 23. Comments can be submitted online at the project's website, udot.utah.gov/westdavis. Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by traditional mail to West Davis Corridor, 466 N. 900 West, Kaysville, UT 84037.