The Mountain View Corridor is using a phased construction approach to address short-term regional transportation needs while providing a long-term solution for the future. 15 miles of Mountain View Corridor opened December 15, 2012 in Salt Lake County from 16000 South to 5400 South. In fall of 2011, three miles opened in Utah County at 2100 North between I-15 and Redwood Road. Mountain View Corridor will eventually be a 35-mile freeway from I-80 in Salt Lake to Lehi Main Street.
The Road That’s Been Traveled
A Record of Decision was granted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the Mountain View Corridor in November 2008. The timeline below reviews, year by year, the events and phases the Mountain View Corridor has gone through to get it to where it is today. As the project progresses, it is important to remember the process it has undergone to arrive at the decisions that have been made to guide the Mountain View Corridor forward. It took five years of technical study, agency coordination and public outreach to identify preferred alternatives for a new roadway and transit-way in west Salt Lake County and northwest Utah County. The ability to be flexible and adaptable in outreach tools and approaches was anchored in UDOT’s commitment for an open, transparent process. The Record of Decision is a testament to the effort made to involve the public and other interested groups.
2003 Growth Choices
In 2003, a visioning process called “Growth Choices” was conducted as part of the Environmental Impact Statement. A stakeholder committee consisting of area mayors, property owners and interest group representatives reviewed various growth scenarios. A Vision Agreement was reached and growth principles were incorporated into the EIS process.
Envision Utah, a public/private partnership for quality growth, conducted six workshops in which individuals were invited to create their vision of the Mountain View Corridor.
2004 Concepts Outreach
In 2004, the Mountain View EIS team went on a two-week tour of the corridor to present eight initial roadway concepts and two transit concepts. The tour featured informal public gatherings in high-traffic locations of the potentially affected neighborhoods. The centerpiece of the tour was a mobile billboard, which served as a backdrop for the gatherings.
The EIS team sought to raise project awareness among residents and future users of the new roadway and facilities. In addition to face-to-face conversations between team members and residents, the team provided access to project information, concept maps and project timelines.
2005 Alternatives Refinement
In 2005, the project team held a series of open houses in potentially impacted areas where residents could see the preliminary location of the corridor and potential alternatives.
High-resolution maps were posted to the project website, giving individuals the opportunity to understand the potential impact of various corridor alternatives on their properties.
Open houses were held at area schools and were heavily staffed in order to allow direct, one-on-one conversations between attendees and project representatives. These meetings provided a forum in which specific questions about the project, which couldn’t be answered during the concepts outreach in 2004, could be addressed.
Maps of preliminary corridor alignments at the open houses provided individuals with details regarding the number of lanes and the locations of interchanges, transit stations and park-and-ride lots.
2006 Funding Challenges
After three years of planning, the EIS project team was confronted with the issue of funding. To tackle a projected $16.5 billion statewide transportation funding deficit, the team added a tolling option to all highway alternatives.
Over a four-month period, the EIS team interacted with more than 600 individuals face-to-face regarding the MVC EIS funding issue and tolling analysis. Making the issue completely transparent to the public was important to the team and provided valuable feedback.
With the knowledge that a fully-tolled roadway would raise some controversy, and in the spirit of continuous public involvement, the EIS team produced a 15-minute presentation that outlined the state’s transportation funding issues. The presentation was given at town hall meetings in each of the corridor’s 15 cities and included a question and answer session.
In an effort to voice all opinions regarding the funding issue, the project team held a panel discussion for the public. The panel discussion allowed for an open presentation of the funding issues and was held in the presence of the Utah Transportation Commission.
The panel discussion included three key topics including perspectives on the statewide funding shortfall and how to increase transportation revenue, the MVC tolling analysis findings and local issues and impacts to users. Panelists represented a broad spectrum of viewpoints regarding tolling.
As a follow-up to the town hall meetings, the EIS project team held a regional open house to present the results of the tolling analysis. The team also posted the results on the project website.
2007 Draft EIS
The Draft EIS was published in the fall of 2007 and included specifics concerning the planning process, alternatives and impacts. The Draft EIS spanned five volumes, contained 4,400 pages and weighed 18 pounds.
Given the technical nature of the Draft EIS, the project team created 12 fact sheets focusing on key issues including the EIS process, alternatives, relocations, natural resources and bike and pedestrian features.
The Draft EIS was presented at various city council meetings where a summary of the document was provided to the public. The Draft EIS and fact sheets were available at the public hearings, local copy centers, local libraries and on the project website.
Approximately 600 people attended the public hearings and 2,500 comments were received and responded to in the Final EIS. The overwhelming response to the document was a direct result of the team’s efforts to provide opportunities for public comment.
Though the public hearings were a valuable forum for public involvement, information was also available to the public through city and community council presentations, online and newspaper advertisements, comment cards and posters as well as the project website. The project website received 13,818 visitors and more than one million people were reached through public involvement efforts.
2008 Final EIS
After five years of research, analysis and public outreach, a Final Environmental Impact Statement was released on September 26, 2008. It identified a multi-modal transportation system for the year 2030, including a freeway, transit-way and trail system.
In Salt Lake County, 5800 West is the preferred roadway alternative, with the preferred transit alternative on 5600 West, which includes a dedicated center-running system. In Utah County, 2100 North is the preferred roadway alternative. The alternatives will have phased implementation by building infrastructure for initial needs and gradually expanding systems over time.
2008 Record of Decision
On November 17, 2008, the Federal Highway Administration approved and signed the official Record of Decision, formalizing the preferred roadway and transit alternatives and their phased implementation in the Mountain View Corridor.
Many people and multiple areas of expertise were needed to complete this process. Public communication and outreach were critical to building relationships and gaining credibility with stakeholders directly impacted by the project and those with an interest in its outcome.
Environmental Manager Reed Soper and Project Manager Teri Newell with the Record of Decision.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS) DOCUMENTS
MOUNTAIN VIEW CORRIDOR OPENING EVENTS
2011 Utah County Opening Event
2100 North Opening Event– September 24, 2011
To celebrate the grand opening of the first section of Mountain View Corridor, several local charities worked with UDOT to hold a 5K, Fun Run and community celebration on the three-mile section.
2012 Salt Lake County Opening Events
Herriman/Riverton Opening Event–June 2, 2012
UDOT worked with Riverton and Herriman to open this two-mile section early. The cities jointly sponsored a 5K Fun Run, 1 Mile Walk and community celebration.
Daybreak Opening Event– October 13, 2012
Mountain View Corridor opened a nine-mile section on October 13, 2012. A free community celebration and 20-mile bike ride was sponsored by UDOT, Live Daybreak, South Jordan City, University of Utah Health Care and Rio Tinto.
West Jordan Opening Event– December 15, 2012
On December 15, 2012, UDOT opened the last six miles of the Mountain View Corridor. The event was held in West Jordan and included a Polar Bear 5K Fun Run.