I am writing regarding the proposed Legacy Highway to be built in Utah. If this freeway is built, the consequences will be irreversible. The wetlands that they propose to pave over are an absolutely beautiful area where one can go and listen to the songs of birds and frogs. Not only that, but the Great Salt Lake Wetlands is one of the most important inland shorebird breeding areas in the world.
The proposed C alignment is the most damaging to the wetlands. As I understand, the Clean Water Act prohibits the destruction of wetlands if there is a less destructive alternative. In this situation, there is alignment A, which is a less destructive route. This is why I don't understand how Gov. Mike Leavitt and UDOT think they can override the law just because traffic is becoming a problem. They are completely ignoring any alternatives to building the freeway.If there was a combination of a high-speed commuter train, express buses, better local bus routes and HOV lanes on the freeway, I know it would drastically reduce traffic and at the same time keep pollution levels to a minimum as well as protect the wetlands. By building another freeway, pollution levels would continue to rise in a city where air pollution is among the highest in the nation.
I admit the traffic is bad on I-15. I live in Layton, in Davis County, and I have to commute 30 miles (each way) to Salt Lake where I work. If there were alternative means of transportation available, I would utilize them. I'm sure if there were efficient means of mass transit many others who commute into Salt Lake would use it as well.
The Legacy Highway is not the answer.