Our View: Corridor remains a priority

Sep 17 2013 - 6:14pm

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Opponents of the proposed West Davis Corridor have an ally against the Glovers Lane alternative, which impacts fewer homes than the Shephard Lane alternative, but is more to the west in its route, which covers 20 miles.

A public comment letter, from Robert Stewart, of the U.S. Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Agency, claims the Glovers Lane option harms "some of the last undeveloped and unprotected habitats on the eastern shore" of the Great Salt Lake. Opponents of the project, including those who would prefer that no corridor be built, are trumpeting Stewart's concerns.

However, it's important to note that the Department of the Interior will not be making a decision on the proposed corridor route. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers makes the call on what can be built near wetlands. And the Federal Highway Administration will make the call on the construction and route of the corridor.

In fact, even Stewart's letter doesn't specifically call for the elimination of a corridor. It suggests that the Utah Department of Transportation, and the FHA, select the Shephard Lane proposal, which would eliminate more homes than the Glovers Lane option. The letter also suggests that both entities could consider the "shared solution," supported by Utahns for Better Transportation, which wants no corridor.

Any solution that eliminates a West Davis Highway is very short-sighted. The Top of Utah will see significant population growth in the years ahead. Without a West Davis Corridor, congestion will choke the available highways, making transportation miserable for residents. Utahns don't deserve such a deliberate inconvenience from those entrusted to our transportation needs.

UDOT chose the Glovers Lane alternative in part because it spared more homes. It's still the best alternative, in our opinion. However, UDOT should consider all responses, including concerns offered by Farmington's leaders, seriously. Whatever final decision is made, however, must retain the corridor, which is a priority if we are to maintain a high standard of living.

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