SALT LAKE CITY — Northern Utah commuters are closer to having more transportation options with the Tuesday decision by the Federal Highway Administration to endorse a selected route for the West Davis Corridor.

An official record of decision following a lengthy environmental review means the 19-mile corridor can now move into the design and construction phase, with the first shovel turn planned for 2020.

The route, from Farmington to West Point, will connect with I-15 and Legacy Parkway at Glovers Lane and 1800 North at approximately 4000 West at its most northern segment.

Transportation officials say the new highway will improve mobility through 2040 in western Davis and Weber counties.

“This decision has been reached carefully and with great respect for the collaborative efforts of thousands of stakeholders over several years,” said Randy Jefferies, Utah Department of Transportation project manager. “We will continue working closely with cities, agencies and other stakeholders as we move into the more detailed design for this new corridor.”

The new highway will require the relocation of 34 homes and eat up 3 acres of farmland. It will also take out some wetlands, but part of the mitigation plan includes improvement of other wetlands.

Transportation officials have been working on a possible new north-south route through northern Utah for more than a decade.

By 2040, the population in Davis County is projected to increase by 33 percent and by 66 percent in Weber County. Employment for those same areas will increase by 45 percent and 72 percent, respectively, according the transportation analysis.

Approximately 40 percent of Davis County's population works outside the county, which has been problematic for the area's economic development, said Davis County Commission Chairman James Smith.

The corridor, he added, is designed to give residents more options.

"It has been a very important aspect of transportation in our county. We have a really growing, robust population on the west side of Davis County who just does not have access to good transportation," Smith said Tuesday. "So this has been something that we have been working on the last 10 years. We're very much in favor of this corridor."

During its review of a potential route, UDOT analyzed 51 alternatives to boost transportation options in the rapidly growing area. The highway will include "dark sky" lighting and noise-reducing pavement, with lighting that would only be placed at on- and off-ramps and be directed downward to the pavement.

The route will also include work by UDOT to improve existing trails and engineer new connections.

The highway will also be constructed with its height at the lowest level possible along much of its route to minimize impacts to surrounding communities.

During the public outreach process, hundreds of residents attended open houses to learn more about potential route configurations, voice their objections or support, and some demanded another alternative altogether.

Federal and state highway officials ultimately rejected a more easterly route near Shepherd Lane as an option, or widening of existing east-west corridors, which in some circumstances is already happening.