The population of Davis County's largest city could reach 50,000 in late 1994, making the widening of Antelope Drive welcome news. The road will be widened from Hill Field Road (400 West) to Church Street.

Originally, the city had planned to widen Antelope from Fort Lane to Church Street during 1994. But City Manager Alex Jensen said the city will widen the road at one time instead of in two sections during two construction seasons."That's a major east-west corridor," Jensen said of Antelope. "We'll built that from top to bottom in one swoop."

Jensen said city staff believes the road can be widened in one construction season - even if it means hiring two separate contractors. He said most citizens who live on the street favor one construction push.

Property acquisition is being completed, and the City Council recently approved a resolution on right-of-way acquisition for the Fort Lane-Hill Field section. The city is trying to avoid condemnation proceedings and is offering landowners fair market value, plus a maximum of 10 percent if necessary.

Antelope will not immediately be widened to four lanes, but the project would add a continuous left-hand turn lane and parking on both sides of the street with room for re-striping to four lanes in the future.

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Although the city has other bottleneck streets, City Councilman Jerry Stevenson said the Antelope widening will probably reduce traffic on busy Gordon Avenue, improving its flow.

Council member Lyndia Graham agreed but wonders if the Antelope widening project will put pressure on the city to push Antelope Drive through to U.S. 89 sooner than planned.

Ethel Adams, a council member who lives on an affected portion of Antelope Drive, said infrastructure should be the city's top priority.

The cost of the Antelope project is estimated at $701,000 from Fort Lane to Church and another $1.3 million from Fort Lane to Antelope. The latter amount has not yet been budgeted but is planned for the 1994-95 fiscal year.

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