SALT LAKE CITY—Officials for the Utah Department of Transportation’s West Davis Corridor (WDC) study team announced last week that the Shared Solution alternative has been eliminated from consideration because it will not meet the transportation needs in the study area.
The Shared Solution alternative was suggested by a coalition of non-government organizations and citizen groups, according to a UDOT statement. Coalition members and UDOT have met some 50 times, including technical coordination meetings, workshops and city land use meetings in order to work together to develop, evaluate and refine the Shared Solution alternative.
“By working with the Shared Solution coalition, we’ve identified some key elements that will make the alternatives that much better,” said WDC Project Manager Randy Jefferies in the release. “This collaborative effort will result in a more effective transportation solution for Davis and Weber counties.”
Jefferies said “several significant components” of the Shared Solution alternative will still be incorporated into whichever alternative is selected in the future.
Recommendations from the Shared Solution coalition that WDC plans to implement include:
• New trails
• Noise-reducing pavement
• Dark-sky lighting
• Lower elevations in certain locations
• Landscaping, berms and other aesthetic enhancements
According to Jefferies, UDOT already has plans to use the following ideas from the coalition in other projects within the WDC study area:
• A new local road crossing over I-15
• Trail connections to a Frontrunner station
• Managed motorways (a more efficient way of managing the flow of traffic onto the freeway)
“These are all excellent suggestions that will greatly enhance transportation plans in the future,” Jefferies continued in the statement. “Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians will have a better experience on the West Davis Corridor because of the work and ideas of the Shared Solution Coalition.”
UDOT has been using the same criteria to evaluate the Shared Solution as all 51 alternatives that have been considered during the WDC EIS process.
“The initial screening of alternatives, or Level 1 screening, evaluated how well each alternative would reduce delay and congestion in the study area,” the statement reads. “Because the Shared Solution would not substantially reduce delay and congestion in the study area, the alternative would not meet the transportation need and so will not be carried forward in the EIS process.”
Jefferies said that doesn’t mean they can’t still use some of the good ideas from the Shared Solution to make future projects better.
Several groups and residents have been opposed to the Legacy Parkway extension suggesting it would cause damage to wetlands, birds and require homes in its path to be demolished. The Shared Solution coalition wanted to improve existing roads and make better use of mass transit as an alternative to extending the West Davis Corridor.
The WDC study is looking at a potential transportation corridor through western Davis and Weber counties, while considering transportation needs through 2040, according to the release. They are also taking into consideration environmental and community concerns to find a solution to benefit the area.
Although no final decision has been made on the construction or location of the WDC, analysis of alternatives is continuing. A Record of Decision from the Federal Highway Administration is expected later in 2017 and the final EIS is expected to be released in spring of that same year, according to the statement.