County officials are planning to extend Wasatch Boulevard south from Little Cottonwood Canyon to Dimple Dell Road, but two residents of the area say it would be wiser to complete an extension of 2000 East first.

At a recent Granite Community Council meeting, Salt Lake County officials and consulting engineers detailed the Wasatch Boulevard extension proposal.The project, which county spokesman Neil Stack said has been a part of the county master plan for about 20 years, is planned in three stages.

The first segment would connect Little Cottonwood Canyon Road (9400 South) with Bell Canyon Road. Construction on the first segment is planned to begin in late 1992 or early 1993, and is estimated to cost roughly $2 million.

The second segment would cross the undeveloped area between the Majestic Heights and Seven Springs subdivisions, from Bell Canyon Road to Deer Hollow Drive. Construction along this section would require a major cut of the mountainside to the east, the county's engineers say. There are no estimates yet of the costs of this portion of the project, or of the third segment.

The third segment would widen an existing paved stretch of Wasatch Boulevard that starts at Deer Hollow Drive and ends on the graveled section of Wasatch just north of the Lostwood Lane intersection.

Only part of the first segment would have curbs and gutters; the rest would be asphalt with no curbs, but possibly with a designated bikeway along one shoulder.

The road would have a 35-mph speed limit and is expected to carry 5,000 vehicles per day the first year it opens and 13,000 per day after 20 years, county officials said. One traffic signal is planned at the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and 9400 South.

But one resident said he thought extending Wasatch before extending 2000 East would be a mistake and would route heavy traffic onto a two-lane road through residential neighborhoods. "You're going to create a path that the world gets used to taking," he said.

After another resident advocated finishing 2000 East first, officials said that the portion of that artery that is in the county will be finished within three years. Extending 2000 East through the city of Sandy is also a priority, they said. Eventually, 2000 East would extend from where it now ends at 9400 South through Draper and tie in with Interstate 15, Stack said.

Residents also commented that the proposed extension of Wasatch Boulevard would worsen traffic through their neighborhoods, particularly along 3100 East in front of Granite Elementary School.