City officials will recommend that the new Bangerter Highway intersect with 9800 South despite a flurry of complaints from residents furious about expected traffic, safety and pollution problems and anticipated declines in property values.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the South Jordan City Council said it will send a binder full of comments to the Utah Department a Transportation when it asks it to plan a 66-foot-wide throughway in the area where $200,000 to $300,000 houses are located."I have to make a decision about what's best for the city and in some cases that may not be what's the best thing for people that live along 9800 South," Councilman Tom Christensen said in explaining his position. "We need to have a system where the traffic load is spread throughout the city."
When it first planned intersections along the new highway, UDOT did not include an outlet at 9800 South because the road did not exist near the western parallel where new construction will continue the Bangerter through to Riverton and Draper.
The state agency accepted South Jordan's request to reconsider the intersection and now will evaluate the City Council's recommendation, along with a study by Hor-racks Engineers and public com-ment.
Tuesday's vote culminated a monthslong series of public hearings and study in which city officials maintained that the in-ter-sec-tion and eventual link-up of the Bangerter and I-15 has been planned to keep cars flowing easily through the growing city.
South Jordan has swelled by 10,000 residents in the past 10 years, with the majority of newcomers landing in the western-most part of the city between 9400 and 10400 South streets, said Councilman Doug Carlile.
The issue has been "too divisive, too acrimonious and has divided us for too long," Carlile said. "It's not fair to say `Not in my back yard.' "
But a number of angry residents told the council they are part of 132 people organized to file a lawsuit against the intersection. Some residents said they'll reiterate their displeasure at the elections in November, when Merlynn Newbold, Tom Christensen and Jack Peck are up for re-election.
About 465 residents wrote letters on the issue and 1,300 signed a petition against the intersection.
Taking a philosophical approach, Newbold said the current "love affair with cars" exacerbates infrastructure issues.
"I suggest as car owners we make some changes in planning, that we use vehicles less and pedestrian walkways more and that we consider mass transit and railroad."