The Orem City Council has approved a plan to widen a major access route to Utah Valley Community College.

Ted Thaxton, a city engineer in the Public Works Department, said widening the 1200 West to 50 feet between 800 South and 800 North should be able "to handle the increased traffic flow for the next 20 years."Width of the street now varies. The project also would add a center lane for left turns.

Part of the reason for the proposal, which will cost approximately $1.4 million, is the possibility that a new special-events center will be constructed at UVCC, which would increase traffic.

Thaxton said 1200 West is a major collector route for the college. On Tuesday last week, more than 15,000 automobiles went north and south through the intersection at Center Street and 1200 West.

Recent traffic studies in the area show that, at times, the traffic flow is at a level E, A being the best.Dameron said the city would like to maintain a level C, especially at the 1200 West and Center Street intersection.

Councilman Kelvin Clayton said he wants to see the

project expanded a little.

"We need to establish a plan line for north of 800 North through to 1600 North," Clayton said.

Clayton said he believes that the business growth in the area will warrant a wider road farther north and the city ought to look into the possibilities now before people start buying property too close to the road.

Thaxton said this is already a problem on some parts of the road where plans will cut into property, but most of it "fits into the city's right of way."

Public Works Director Ott Dameron said some of the landowners show that their property lines go out into the middle of 1200 West.

"These things will have to be cleared up," Dameron said, but he doesn't anticipate a large problem.

The city will also put curb and gutter on the west side and curb, gutter and sidewalk on the east side of the street.

Thaxton said there are more homes on the east side of 1200 West and more sidewalks are already in place. "We will match up with all existing sidewalks on the east side," he said.

The city has already issued revenue bonds for the construction project, and Dameron said work will begin in this construction season.