The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in cooperation with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), recently released the Record of Decision (ROD) for the proposed Southern Corridor road project to connect Hurricane with Interstate 15 south of St. George.
FHWA and UDOT have been studying the corridor area for several years to determine how the proposed new road would impact the surrounding natural and built environments.
The ROD presents the basis for FHWA's decision on implementing a transportation project consisting of an interchange at Reference Post (RP) 2 on I-15 in St. George and an associated 26-mile four-lane highway that connects to SR 9 in Hurricane, Utah, at about 2800 West. In the ROD, FHWA selected the 2800 West Alternative based on a balanced consideration of the need for safe and efficient transportation and the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the alternative. The FHWA decision notes that the 2800 West Alternative reasonably maximizes the transportation benefit, minimizes environmental impacts, and effectively meets the project's purpose and need.
The ROD is the final step in the environmental process and now UDOT can proceed with implementing the Southern Corridor and any required project mitigation. The first phase of the project will be the construction of the Atkinville Interchange at RP 2 on I-15 near the Sun River development. Construction is planned for summer of 2006. Prior to construction taking place, UDOT will establish two habitat preserves to mitigate for project impacts for the plant species Holmgren milkvetch and dwarf bearclaw-poppy to help protect these habitats from future impacts.
Outside of the Atkinville Interchange, no other funding for the project has been identified.