Residents concerned about UDOT’s Hwy. 89 expansion plan

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 00:26:53-04

KAYSVILLE, Utah — Hundreds of concerned community members gathered at an open house Tuesday night, and many of them are upset about UDOT's decision to expand Highway 89.

The  US-89 upgrade would  stretch from Fruit Heights to South Weber.

According to UDOT, traffic in the area has gone from bad to worse over the last ten years. They’re considering several options, including the construction of a new lane in each direction, adding new interchanges and getting rid of some access points. But many residents worry it's going to disrupt their quiet communities.

“I’ve been there for over 64 years,” said Isabell Love Watts.

For all those years,  US-89 has been right in front of the Watts' home. If UDOT expands the road, it might run right through their property.

“There's a possibility they'll take 100 feet off my property which would take my front porch right out. So, yeah, I'm concerned,” said Paul Watts.

UDOT showed off 46 concept ideas and plans at an open house that the Watts and hundreds of others attended Tuesday night.

“Normally, I don't show up because it makes me that angry,” Isabell Watts said.

UDOT said they understand people's concerns, but changes need to happen.

“Traffic along US-89 is currently operating at failing conditions in the AM and PM peak hours and we're looking at improvements to address that congestion,” said Michael Romero, Project Manager for UDOT's US-89 State Environmental Study.

UDOT said the traffic is a problem that's only going to get worse along that corridor.

“We're trying to come up with a solution that benefits the community as a whole and not a single interest group,” Romero said.

Some who live in the area are ready for those changes.

“It's like a parking lot. Move a little bit and then you park,” said Richard Hansen. “As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see the tractors working next spring.”

Others, like the Watts, won't be as accepting if construction cones start lining the road.

“I won't live in Utah anymore,” Isabell Watts said.

A final decision will likely be made before the end of the year.