FARMINGTON — Farmington City and the state have finally adjudicated the fate of a city park that will be displaced by the soon-to-be built West Davis Corridor.
Earlier this week, the Farmington City Council approved a mitigation plan with the Utah Department of Transportation where the state will pay Farmington $4.75 million as restitution for impacts that will be made to an 11-acre park located on 1100 West, near Farmington High School.
When UDOT finalized the route for the 19-mile, $610 million West Davis Corridor last year, it was revealed that the Farmington-owned park (and associated soccer fields) was within the future road’s right-of-way and would have to be acquired by the state.
Controversy ensued when it was proposed to relocate the park on the 22-acre sixth-generation family farm of Alan Bangerter. After much public outcry, that proposal was scrapped in May and the two entities have been working together since then to find a suitable remedy.
Farmington City Manager Dave Millheim said the city will use the UDOT payment to purchase an approximately 17-acre site in the middle of a planned 250-acre business park, located just north of the Station Park retail hub. The city has a purchase contract in place with current landowners.
After the purchase, the city will use leftover funds to build the new park, access roads and storm drainage facilities.
Millheim said the mitigation agreement also calls for UDOT to give portions of the 1100 West park that won’t be used for the WDC, back to the city. Farmington will be required to keep a smaller park in the neighborhood, which Millheim says will provide an open space buffer for the residents on the east side of highway.
While Millheim, Mayor Jim Talbot and Councilman Brett Anderson all said they were pleased with the agreement reached for the park, Millheim says the city still has some work to do with UDOT.
The city wants the state to fund a connector road at Shepard Lane that would link two new interchanges along the WDC and Interstate 15.
Without the arterial road connecting the freeway to the corridor, Farmington city officials believe traffic near the Park Lane I-15 interchange will become congested to the point of failure.
A new interchange at Shepard Lane, coupled with the connector road, would give motorists another option to access the busy section of west Farmington that includes Station Park and the future business park.
The WDC will begin in Farmington, connecting with Interstate 15 and the Legacy Parkway at Glovers Lane. The highway will end at 1800 North in West Point, but a future extension that would terminate near the Weber/Box Elder County line is included in the state’s long-range plan.
The new road will connect to existing state highways and city streets through six new interchanges.
Barring any legal challenges, construction on the corridor is set to begin in 2020, with the I-15 alternative is scheduled to open to the public by 2023.