By Sheldon Killpack
Finally, a "viable" alternate route is on the horizon for Davis County and Northern Utah. The Governor's Office and the Legislative working group were able to strike an agreement with the people suing over Legacy Highway, which will allow us to move forward with the project, pending final approval of legislation in a special session. If all goes well, tires will roll on the "parkway" in 2008.
Frankly, we don't like much of the agreement or the process (which is probably why they call it a compromise) - but we can live with it. Opening that additional north-south route will immediately reduce traffic on I-15 in Davis County by 30 percent.
Main features of the "Agreement in Principle" include the following:
- No further litigation
- A speed limit of 55 mph
- Quiet pavement (rubberized asphalt instead of cement)
- No billboards
- No big trucks - except for emergencies
- Walking Trails to the east and west - subject to further approval
- Width limited to four lanes
- Additional features to maximize environmental quality
- Mediation provisions to help avoid costly legal train wrecks in the
- $2.5 million to study Bus Rapid Transit and Light Rail Transit options
- All provisions in the final settlement will terminate no later than 2020
The most significant criticism of the compromise agreement to date is regarding the prohibition of large trucks on the Parkway until 2020. Some claim that this will mean an increase in cost to the consumer. I beg to differ with this argument. Currently, when I-15 shuts down commerce has absolutely NO viable alternate route - trucking comes to a complete stop. With this agreement, trucks will move onto Legacy during during accidents, disasters, or road construction. There will be a way north, come heck or high water. And this is Utah, so either one is part of our vocabulary.
If you want more detail you can view a copy of the Agreement in Principle
. Other information available on UDOT's site:
Map of Legacy Parkway AgreementSpecial thanks to UDOT, the Governor's team and the Legislative WorkingGroup for their blood, sweat, and tears expended to make this agreement areality.
Legacy Parkway and Preserve Web site