WEST HAVEN -- Road officials are closing in on a November completion of environmental studies for a $25 million project to widen 4000 South from Midland Drive west to 5100 West.
At an open house at the West Haven City building last week, the Utah Department of Transportation displayed maps and project plans and took feedback from residents and businesses.
UDOT, in partnership with West Haven City and Weber County, began a study in January to evaluate road improvements that will increase safety and functionality of 4000 South and provide for efficient traffic flow through the West Haven community.
Concerns versus interest varied at the open house depending on how the improvements impacted the individual. At least four homes will need to be removed and many property frontages will be shortened.
Some were pleased with the future improvements but others said they felt the improvements will take away the country feel the area has enjoyed for many years.
There was concern from parents for the safety of their children who attend Quest Academy, 4862 West 4000 South. Jenny Jones of Roy said she brings her son and three others to and from the school and she noted the speed limit now on 4000 South is 45 mph.
"We are here tonight to try and find some answers to how UDOT intends to handle our situation, since right now some kids are walking on the shoulder of 4000 South to get to school with cars going 45 mph right past them," Jones said. "The sidewalks UDOT plans to put in will help but there still needs to be a designated 20 miles-per-hour school zone in order to keep these kids safe."
Kim Hunter owns Country Gardens Nursery, 3938 W. 4000 South. He said he got his questions answered at the open house and feels confident UDOT and West Haven City want to work with those affected by the project.
Even though he will lose about 10 feet of display area and about 600 square feet of parking as well as having to relocate a greenhouse and set back fences, he said UDOT officials told him they will pay for that expense.
"My business is seasonal so my main concern was more the timing than anything, since my busiest and most profitable time of the year is March through early June. If the roadwork takes place from mid to late summer, it's not going to hurt as much since the nursery business slows during that time."
Brett Slater, UDOT project manager, said at this point of the study, four homes will have to be removed but those homeowners say that even now they can see how much the traffic has increased in the past 15 years and can't imagine how much more it will increase in the next 15.
He said he has met with each of these affected homeowners to explain the process and what they can expect from UDOT.
"We want to ensure those affected that they will be treated fairly and that they will he held harmless and restored whole," he said.
Slater said the purpose of the environmental study is to evaluate the existing road conditions as well as current and projected future traffic use and public input. Improvements can then be identified and evaluated to determine impacts to natural, historical and cultural resources.
"We are required by law to take these steps and with the public hearing now completed, we will take the comments we have received and evaluate them and respond to all of them. We are hoping to be able to complete the environmental phase by the end of November," he said. "Once the environmental phase is completed we then can move into the design phase of this project and construction should start by early 2016."
The improved road will consist of five lanes from Midland Drive to 4700 South. The road will then transition into three lanes from 4700 South to 5100 South. To the west on 5100 South the road will remain two lanes. There will be 12-foot shoulders along with curb and gutter and sidewalks on both sides.