A resolution urging the Utah Department of Transportation to reconsider the so-called "Skier Connect" road in Sandy has been approved by members of a legislative committee.
The Economic Development Interim Committee had rejected the same resolution last month, agreeing with supporters of the $1.4 million road project that it was a transportation rather than an economic development issue.But at their meeting Wednesday, committee members decided to look at the resolution again, apparently convinced by the persistent arguments made by the Coalition for a Better Sandy.
Coalition members believe the road, which would connect 90th South and Seventh East with 94th South at about 1150 East, would hurt their businesses in Sandy's commercial district.
The intersection of Seventh East and 94th South would be bypassed by the two-lane road. The coalition, which was organized by officials of the Sandy Mall, sued UDOT and the state to stop construction.
The coalition won at least a temporary victory when 3rd District Judge Scott Daniels ordered work on the road halted until UDOT held a required public hearing. That hearing was held in September and transcripts are currently being prepared.
Utah Transportation Commission Vice Chairman Wayne Winters showed lawmakers a 6-inch-high stack of the documents collected as a result of the five-hour hearing, and told them that any additional study would simply be "a delay tactic."
The commission is expected to decide sometime in November whether to go ahead with the construction of the road, which was already under way when the hearing was ordered, or to scrap the project.
The resolution approved 8-3 by the committee does not specifically call for further study. It does ask UDOT to "evaluate the feasibility, practicality, efficiency, and competing economies of accomplishing necessary traffic improvements in the Sandy area."
Sen. Richard Tempest, R-Salt Lake, who asked that the resolution be reconsidered, told Winters that, "If your mind is made up, if the commission's mind is made up, this doesn't mean anything."
The resolution is simply advising UDOT of the concern lawmakers have over the potential economic impact of the road, Sen. Paul Fordham, D-Salt Lake, said.
The page-long resolution says the road "appears to bypass a major commercial center in Sandy which is a significant contributor to the Utah employment market and the tax base of Sandy and the state of Utah."
It concludes by encouraging both the city of Sandy and UDOT to "reconsider the proposed routing in an effort to resolve Sandy's traffic problems without adversely impacting a major commercial resource."