A 3rd District judge ordered construction stopped Friday on the so-called "Ski Connect" road in Sandy.
Judge Scott Daniels issued a preliminary injunction on behalf of a coalition of area business and home owners.Work began earlier this month on the road to connect 90th South with 94th South east of Seventh East shortly after Daniels denied a request for a temporary restraining order.
The order was sought by the Coalition for a Better Sandy and the owners of the Sandy Mall, which, like other businesses on the busy intersection of 94th South and Seventh East, will be bypassed by the new road.
The group's attorney, George Haley, introduced new evidence at the Friday hearing that he said showed the Utah Department of Transportation violated its own regulation by not holding a public hearing on the road.
The UDOT regulation states that public hearings will be held, or the opportunities for public hearings will be afforded on all projects that are new, would have a substantial social, economic or environmental impact, or would change the function of existing roads.
"It's a regulation that ought to be followed," Daniels said, adding that it would take a court hearing to determine whether the required public hearings were ever held.
That hearing is scheduled Aug. 8. Daniels required that the coalition and the Sandy Mall post a $50,000 bond to cover the loss to the city of Sandy and UDOT due to the delay in construction.
Assistant Attorney General Donald Coleman, arguing on behalf of UDOT, repeated the argument he used to defeat the motion for a temporary restraining order.
Coleman said that state law requires a hearing to be held only if a road either bypasses a community or provides an alternate route through it. He said the word through means that the road must connect one end of a community with another and that the Ski Connect would not do that.
The judge, who had agreed with Coleman's argument, said that the regulation changed his mind about what that statute may mean. He said it will be determined at the hearing how the regulation applies to the statute.
Both sides agreed to allow a fence to be erected around the construction area to keep away children living nearby. The land has been cleared, and some heavy machinery is on the site.