When the Antelope Island Causeway reopens sometime this fall, traffic is expected to boom in this lakeshore community. But most Syracusans won't mind.
"It's kind of nice getting our name on the map," said Kathy Holt, a 30-year resident along 1700 South, the road leading to the causeway that spans the Great Salt Lake.In April, the Utah Legislature set aside $3 million to restore the causeway, which was washed out by flooding in the early 1980s. Last week, the Utah Transportation Commission awarded ownership to Davis County, which expects to begin work on the causeway this summer.
Residents who live along 1700 South have mixed feelings about the county's restoring the 7-mile causeway leading to the state park.
But most accept the heavier traffic as a reasonable price to pay for resurgence of Antelope Island's popularity.
"There was very, very heavy traffic when it was open," Holt said, recalling how it was before the rising lake inundated the causeway in 1983.
"On Saturdays and Sundays, you couldn't cross the street. And you couldn't leave your windows opened," she said of the noise.
But Holt said even with 1700 South serving as the lone road to the island, she won't mind the traffic because of what it will mean for the city.
Other 1700 South residents agree.
Leah Briggs said she would rather have her road packed with traffic than deprive others of the beauty of the island.
"It's too pretty . . . not to have access to," she said.
At least one resident feels that rebuilding the causeway is a waste of money.
"I don't think much of the causeway. To build a road with nothing (out on the island) is a waste," said 91-year-old Walter Cook, who fears state officials may eventually widen 1700 South.
Lloyd Dahl, who has lived in Syracuse for 70 years, said he, too, fears the traffic.
"I have mixed emotions about it. It's going to increase the traffic. But we need it as far as tourism is concerned," he said. "I think it's a good thing for the state and a good thing for the county to open it up."