Utah lawmaker proposes $1 billion bond for road improvements

Posted at 8:48 PM, Mar 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-04 22:48:27-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A massive road bond was introduced into the Utah legislature Friday, just before the final days of the session.

It would be the second biggest transportation bond in Utah history, said Senator Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, who is sponsoring the proposal.

But, he said it won’t raise your taxes. He explained that the bond is actually meant to replace existing bonds that are set to expire throughout the next few years—meaning it swaps one source of debt out for another.

While it may seem late to introduce such a huge piece of legislation, Sen. Harper said the $1 billion bond has been the subject of talks for a while.

He said the Transportation Commission just gave their approval to introduce it recently. The bond does not outline any specific road projects, instead, UDOT and the Transportation Commission would propose them later down the road.

"It's a real responsive, well thought-out program that was brought to us by the Transportation Commission and UDOT,” Sen. Harper said. “It's different from any other year. The legislature isn't calling out projects. The commission, who is in charge of that, is calling out the projects."

He did say they have a rough idea of some of the projects that could be included in the bond.

Sen. Harper said the projects range across the entire state. He said it’s likely they’ll include improvements to I-15 around Point of the Mountain and Lehi, as well as in the Salt Lake Valley from 9000 South to 2100 South, and up in Davis County.

He also mentioned work on the I-15 and I-215 interchanges.

Further south, he said projects could revamp areas near Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

Even though we are approaching the last week of the legislative session, Sen. Harper said he expects the bond to move quickly, and it could be approved by Tuesday.