TAYLORSVILLE — Eagle Mountain Mayor Heather Jackson described navigating through traffic congestion from her home in northwest Utah County to the Utah Transportation Commission meeting on Wednesday morning.
Main Street, the most direct road to I-15, is just one lane in each direction. And shortly after she arrived at the meeting, her hopes of getting it expanded to two lanes were dashed.
Jackson's project was among 11 that the commission chose to delay to shed $113 million from various Utah Department of Transportation accounts so the state can use it and bond for $89 million to construct $202 million worth of new buildings, most of them on university campuses.
The plan was part of a large state funding bill that the Utah Legislature passed on the last night of the session in March. The state faced revenue shortfalls into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and no state agency has been left out of funding cuts.
The Transportation Commission spent a chunk of Tuesday considering various projects to delay, but the pickings were slim, said Bill Lawrence, UDOT's program finance director.
"The fact of the matter is the department has scoured the universe to minimize the impacts," commissioner Kent Millington said.
"I think the operational word is 'delay,' " commissioner Meghan Holbrook said. "Every single project is important."
With Wednesday's vote the projects were put on the state's 30-year transportation plan. The soonest they could be moved onto the key list for funding, called the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, is 2015, UDOT Executive Director John Njord said.
For Jackson and other Eagle Mountain residents, there will be some reprieve with the opening of the Pioneer Crossing, a new east-west road in the area with freeway access that's expected to open in October. Jackson said she's disappointed that it is only two lanes in each direction.
"If we have any type of disaster, we're stuck," she said. "We are between two military installations: Dugway and Camp Williams."
Selected road projects slated for cuts:
Geneva Road in Provo and Orem, $1.2 million
State Route 73, also known as Main Street, from Ranches to Redwood roads in the Saratoga Springs-Eagle Mountain area, $8.8 million
U.S. 89, also known as State Street, from 2000 North to Geneva Road in Lindon, $10 million
U.S. 40, for about two miles around Starvation Reservoir and two miles west of Duchesne, $7.7 million
State Route 10, from Ferron to Rock Creek Bridge in Emery County, $4.4 million
U.S. 6, about eight miles around Woodside, Emery County, $2 million
Vineyard Connector, a road planned to run west of I-15 through Vineyard, Orem and Lindon that will connect with the American Fork Main Street I-15 interchange, $33 million
State Route 30, from 1400 West to Main Street, Logan, $14 million
State Route 265, also known as University Parkway, from State Street to 800 East, $3.9 million
TOTAL CUT: $85 million
FUNDS AVAILABLE FROM LOWER BIDS: $28.2 million
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