BLUFFDALE City leaders in Bluffdale shied away from building a barricade on one of their roads last week, but the thought did cross at least one city official's mind.
It was nearing midnight at a City Council meeting last week when the council decided to wait for more information from city staff before deciding how to keep hundreds of heavy construction trucks from driving through their city to a 4,000-acre development that recently annexed into Herriman.
Earlier in the evening, however, Councilwoman Nancy Lord said she'd like to build the blockades as soon as possible.
"Would you want to live on a road that you thought was going to be a nice little neighborhood road and all of a sudden you have trucks pulling up and down the street for years?" Lord rhetorically asked the council. "I would not want to do that. I am of a mind to put up barriers on 4000 West immediately, starting tonight. Other roads need to be considered, but as far as 4000 West goes, I think the barriers need to go up immediately, until further information helps us change our minds."
Mayor Claudia Anderson cautioned the council against putting barriers on the city's roads too quickly. The council recently amended its transportation plan and decided not to extend 15000 South, 14400 South, 13800 South, 4000 West and 3600 West into Herriman to mitigate the traffic that could potentially flow onto those roads from a planned development.
But rumors of heavy trucks that are already using the roads to transport rocks and construction equipment to the area have the council thinking that more severe road blockades might be necessary to curtail the traffic. Anderson said that since reports of possibly using barriers on the roads have been circulating, she's received negative feedback from other mayors in the county. Anderson says she is worried about the negative impact such a decision would have on the city's reputation and its relationship with its neighbors.
"We're getting really bad press, and I'm told by all the other mayors and all the other county attorneys that we can't do it," Anderson said. "We're going to get ourselves in trouble if we tried."
Hollis Hunt, an attorney representing the Sorenson Group which is involved in developing some of the 4,000 acres supported Anderson's hesitance by elaborating on the negative consequences that could come from truncating the roads.
"Before you do anything concrete, it's my suggestion that you fully explore what's happening here, because the consequences are severe," Hunt told the council. "I'm not suggesting to you that (the developers) are going to come and sue you; we've had plenty of lawsuits, and we were hoping to try to avoid that as I know you are, with your budget, and just the fact that you have to be neighbors."
Instead of building any blockades immediately, the council decided to look into imposing weight and speed limits on the roads. The council is also planning to meet with Herriman's City Council in January to consider a potential interlocal agreement that would share the cost burden of maintaining the roads in question."It's a double-edged sword," Councilman Bill Maxwell said. "It goes both ways, and there are some problems for Bluffdale with not connecting those roads, it's no question. It's not an easy thing to decide what to do. ... I think this is a long way from a done deal."