FARMINGTON -- Given the opportunity to collectively express their opinion, members of the city council are clear on the alternative they think the Utah Department of Transportation should choose for a proposed West Davis corridor.
The council voted 5-0 Tuesday for a resolution that urges UDOT to choose an alignment for the proposed roadway, which parallels Interstate 15 between Park Lane and Shepard Lane.
The choice, known as option C-1, causes the least disruption to homes and wetlands of any option, according to city officials. The option is subject to approval from federal transportation officials, Mayor Scott Harbertson said.
UDOT has not formalized its choice for the preferred alignment of the new highway, but city staff and Harbertson met recently with transportation officials, who shared a preliminary analysis of three possible options through Farmington.
UDOT officials asked city officials to forward their recommendation. UDOT is expected to hold public hearings on the options in the near future as part of the public input process.
In choosing the C-1 option, city officials also commented on the other two choices available. Option A-1, which goes to the extreme western part of the city, is the second choice among city officials, while option B-1, which goes through a significant portion of West Farmington, was dubbed "unacceptable in any circumstance" as part of the resolution.
The resolution was shared with UDOT officials in the form of a resolution and attached map in a meeting Wednesday.
In choosing the easternmost route of the three, city officials are returning to a position taken early in the process of discussions about the roadway. Despite their input, the eastern route was not considered a viable possibility by UDOT. As a consequence, city officials updated their master transportation plan several years ago, urging UDOT to extend the corridor through the westernmost route of the city.
Councilman Sid Young wondered if city officials shouldn't update their transportation plan to correspond with the new eastern route option, but City Manager Dave Millheim said it is still early in the process and urged the council to wait before changing the plan.
While delighted to have the C-1 option, some officials are also miffed that the eastern route was not part of the discussion several years ago, when public sentiment was first gauged on the project.
Harbertson suggested city officials and many residents would have been spared three or four years of heartburn and headache if transportation officials had done their homework before initiating discussion about options through the city, which has the shortest distance between the Great Salt Lake and the mountains of any Davis County community.
Councilman Rick Dutson noted UDOT's process cost the city financially in hiring a consultant to deal with the issues, as well as politically with the public. "There were poor people out there thinking their homes were going to be taken. They were in tears. That could have all been avoided, if they had just done a little more homework," Dutson said of the process.
Councilman Jim Talbot was involved with the city's planning commission during early discussions about the corridor. He has continually stressed that Farmington residents have made their choices known on the roadway.
"I don't want the public to think that UDOT is wagging us, instead of us wagging them," Talbot said of public input.