Proposal to widen Main Street in Payson has residents in historic homes worried

Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 20:29:46-04

PAYSON, Utah – The Utah Department of Transportation is considering several options to improve future traffic flow through the small town of Payson, but one of those options has homeowners on the town’s historic Main Street worried.

The proposal would widen Main Street, making it a five-lane road, but that would mean demolishing two of Payson’s most unique residences. The John Dixon House and the Christopher F. Dixon House were built in the early 1900’s and were the first houses in the community that were built to be wired for electricity.

“This is an historic Main street,” said Douglass Stevenson, a descendant of the Dixon family. “And we want to keep it that way.”

The widening of Main Street is just one of four proposals being considered by UDOT. Department spokesperson John Gleason said they recently narrowed it down from 17 options. The goal is to re-configure the I-15 interchange to accommodate future growth projections in the area.

“Payson is a community that is expected to grow by 166 percent from now until 2040,” Gleason said. “The whole point of this phase, the environmental phase, is so that we can understand those impacts.”

Gleason said nothing has been decided at this point, and they’re still in the process of hearing public comment. Whatever option is selected, it would still need to go through another impact study and public hearing. But Paula Perkins, who currently lives in the John Dixon house, is surprised it’s even being considered.

“It’s just amazing that here in Utah, where we talk so much about our heritage, that they would even consider it, that it would even come into their minds,” Perkins said.

More information on the Payson interchange project can be found here.

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