LAYTON -- The Utah Department of Transportation continues to make the rounds in defense of its West Davis Corridor project.
On Wednesday night, West Davis Project Manager Randy Jeffries gave a presentation at Hill Air Force Base to the Davis County Council of Governments, formally responding to a letter drafted by the Davis County Commission.
Jeffries and other members of the West Davis planning team have spent much of the past few months making appearances at public meetings throughout the Top of Utah.
The Davis Commission's letter, signed by commissioners John Petroff Jr., Louenda Downs and Bret Millburn, contends that UDOT's study on the road has focused disproportionately on wetlands impacts and less so on community and neighborhood impacts.
"We do not believe that UDOT has taken all relevant county concerns into consideration in the planning process," the letter says.
The letter also asks the state to perform a more robust wetlands-testing procedure to better determine exactly what should and what shouldn't be considered wetlands areas.
Jeffries said that procedure will indeed be taking place before UDOT moves forward with its final decision.
"We will be double-checking the wetlands areas to make sure they are accurate," he said. "We've got a lot of work still ahead of us."
Petroff said the commission has hired Ecotone One environmental engineers to perform a study on the three remaining alternatives for the road.
The study will not exceed $17,000 and will be paid for by the county's corridor preservation fund.
Jeffries said UDOT will work closely with the commission and will review its study as the remaining alternatives are reviewed and refined.
"It's important to realize that the screening process isn't over yet," he said. "The alternatives will be refined so that they result in even fewer impacts."
Jeffries said it will take approximately three to four months to refine and adjust the alternatives, and they will then conduct another round of impact analyses.
Early in 2012, the state plans to put out a draft environmental impact statement.
The draft EIS will include information on all three refined alternatives, but it will also include one preferred alternative.