Salt Lake City, Utah - Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., is pleased with the legislative approval of the Legacy Parkway settlement. "We applaud the State Legislature and UDOT for the successful approval of the settlement," said Governor Huntsman. "Legacy Parkway will increase mobility for all citizens of the state and others who travel in Northern Utah."
The measure was the only item on the call for the Special Session which began at 5:20 p.m. this afternoon. It followed months of negotiation on the settlement of a case that had been in the courts for several years. The delay has increased the cost of the project by an estimated $234 million dollars. Without the agreement, the State would have faced another two years in delays and the cost would have increased by at least another $100 million.
The Legacy Parkway is a 14-mile, four-lane highway that will provide an alternate route through Davis County in Northern Utah. Environmental groups had opposed the highway, citing concerns about impacts to wetlands and wildlife, and alternate modes of transportation.
The settlement allows the Legacy Parkway to move forward. Construction will begin in 2006 and the road will be open in 2009. The Parkway will have a 55-mile per hour speed limit and be constructed with noise-reducing pavement. Large trucks will be prohibited on the road.
"This has been a tough process but we are pleased with the outcome," said UDOT Director John Njord. "The end result will be a safe and efficient roadway that will provide much needed congestion relief in Northern Utah."
Under the settlement, the State will also buy approximately 125-acres of property, west of 500 South in Bountiful to add to the Legacy Nature Preserve. The State will also provide $2.5 million for a transit study in the corridor.