City officials believe Antelope Drive still warrants a full interchange off U.S. Highway 89 someday and plans to reconvert the Utah Department of Transportation to that concept.
City Manager Alex Jensen said UDOT has recently hedged on having a full interchange at Antelope Drive. In fact, he said UDOT now seems to think if Layton city wants to guarantee the project it should purchase the property in the area itself."The city doesn't think that's fair," Jensen said.
Mayor Jerry Stevenson agreed.
"We do need the interchange there. This is a UDOT project."
The main problem is that Antelope Drive currently doesn't connect to U.S. 89.
City Attorney Gary Crane said now is the best and cheapest time to purchase the needed property. That's because a developer is working toward building a subdivision in the area. He said UDOT could save taxpayers a lot of money by purchasing the land before homes go in.
Some 6.5 acres of property would be required for the project and the landowners are willing to sell it.
Stevenson said at one time, in the mid-1980s, the city planned to do an immediate Antelope Drive connection to Highway 89. However, the belief then that U.S. 89 would be upgraded very soon put the project off.
With the council's support for the interchange, Jensen said he plans to pressure UDOT to buy the land.
Councilman Brent Allen said he hopes the interchange can be built so it doesn't attract a lot of truck traffic. He feels it would be unsafe for big trucks to use Antelope Drive as a thoroughfare to the Freeport Center, given its big slope and residential areas.
He wants Highway 193 promoted as the major truck traffic route.
Crane said there is a way to create city ordinances that would restrict truck traffic on Antelope Drive.
Another councilman, Stuart Adams, said the possible noise and other challenges to area residents are his biggest concerns with the interchange.