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South Valley Journal

Riverton Ready to Widen Redwood Road

Nov 06, 2015 11:57AM ● By Bryan Scott

By Briana Kelley

 South Valley - At Riverton’s Sept. 22 council meeting, Mayor Bill Applegarth gave an update on Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) plans to widen Redwood Road in Riverton. He informed residents that the city had rejected UDOT’s $22 million two-stage proposal and instead asked the department to spend more to complete widening in one stage.

UDOT’s current proposal is to widen Redwood Road south of 12600 South to Bangerter at a smaller width than the current road north and south. UDOT would then widen it further in eight or 10 years to match the existing width of the road north and south. Applegarth and city staff had several concerns with this two-stage proposal.

“The concern I had was actually several,” Applegarth said. “We have people that have been under the gun and that have lived on Redwood for 15 to 20 years. UDOT keeps saying they’re going to come and so forth, and so homeowners don’t know whether to fix the roof or do this repair or that repair and it has kept them in limbo. I also don’t think it’s fair to pay damages and bring a sidewalk 15 feet from your front porch.”

In UDOT’s current plan, the department would use land on both the east and west sides of the road to avoid purchasing homes. Instead, they would pay damages to those who own property in the area. Widening the road in two stages would also mean moving utilities twice, which is costly and, in the eyes of Applegarth, unacceptable.

The price to complete a single larger widening project is $36 million. Applegarth and city staff are currently in conversation with UDOT’s Region II director and his staff as the latter looks for the $14 million extra it would cost to carry out this project. Applegarth feels fairly confident that they will be able to find the funds to do so.

“I’ve been on Wasatch Front Regional Committee for 10 years and I’m now the chair of Trans Com and I’ve seen UDOT do this before,” Applegarth said. What’s more, he does not feel it is fair to Riverton’s residents to do anything else.

As for actual construction, it can begin as soon as UDOT decides on the future road width.

“I’m hoping and feel fairly confident that everything, even with the wider road, can be finished somewhere in 2018 and for me it’s worth the wait for the benefit to our citizens. I know that for those living on the east and west side of Redwood Road, it’s terrible for you now, but I’d like to see it done right,” Applegarth said.