PROVO The Utah Lake Commission supported a lawmaker's efforts Thursday to appropriate funds to study transportation issues near the lake, including the feasibility of a causeway.
Rep. Kenneth Sumsion, R-American Fork, says he will propose a bill in the 2008 Legislature that, if passed, would provide $5 million to study east-west transportation options for Utah Valley such as a causeway and other highways that would affect the lake.
The resolution passed by the lake commission doesn't support any specific road but supports funding to study east-west transportation, said Reed Price, executive director of the Utah Lake Commission.
The resolution also supports future legislation to acquire funds for other projects that would impact Utah Lake control of non-native species of fish and plants, shoreline protection and other goals the commission has for the lake, Price said.
Darryl Cook, executive director for the Mountainland Association of Governments, said the study would fit with the other ongoing east-west corridor studies.
Sumsion said his intent was to help the Utah Lake Commission with funds it needs and encourage cooperation between the commission and the Utah Department of Transportation and support from legislators.
Sumsion said the commission's support would help him garner support from legislative leadership.
The commission is working through a master plan, and members raised some concerns about whether supporting the resolution would give the impression that the commission had chosen which highway it preferred.
Commissioners noted that the resolution supported only the appropriation of funds from the state for a study and not a specific roadway.
Price said the commission won't support a particular corridor until studies have been done and recommendations made.The commission assigned Price to draft a resolution to note that the commission will not support a project until "strategic investigation" has been made.
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