The news today that UDOT puts Lehi freeway on hold is incredible.
Teri Newell of UDOT said the state agency, hearing concerns from Lehi, had agreed to cut in half the width of the road, going from 680 feet wide to something closer to 350 feet wide.
That plan will preserve a corridor wide enough to build a freeway if necessary, but beyond that, all bets are essentially off the table.
Newell said that “if” a freeway ever needs to be built — and that word alone represents a change in tone — UDOT has now agreed that negotiations must begin again at some future date . . . Instead of planning for a freeway now, a new east-west connector at 2100 North will be built as soon as possible, with two lanes and traffic signals in each direction.
I knew that the city officials had not given up on finding a resolution, and the article makes it clear that they still want to see a 2100 North freeway removed from the table of future possibilities, but I really had not expected that they would be able to make even this much progress with UDOT.
An east-west connector being built soon will do much more good for north-west Utah county than 10 more years of wrangling over the alignment without building anything. Combined with the east-west connector on 1000 South (where construction should begin sometime next year) we will have nearly the equivalent of a new east-west freeway, and 3 east-west routes (1000 S, Main, and 2100 N) through Lehi in 5 years rather than 10 more years of talk and gridlock – which is what we would have had before even if Lehi had not opposed the 2100 North freeway.
Kudos to the Lehi City officials who continued to advance the city’s interests in the face of long odds.