UDOT’s I-15 expansion is pricier than they said

Salt Lake City, UT, USA. UDOT needs to start prioritizing alternative forms of transportation. 

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the cost of the largely contested Interstate 15 expansion will be more than double the initially estimated $1.7 billion, to $3.7 billion of taxpayer money. 

Local residents have been actively opposing the expansion and spoken out about concerns of displacement. The Tribune article writes that “The draft said the project would require between three and five residential relocations — though that number could be 35 or 36, if property owners are willing to move.” Although people may be able to stay in their homes, the expansion has threatened to put homes down to 15 feet from the highway. People who live or work within 165 feet of the freeway are at high risk for heart and lung diseases, strokes, poor pregnancy outcomes, multiple types of cancer and even autism.

In comments to UDOT earlier this year, UPHE criticized the expansion for the following reasons:

-Freeway Expansions Have Failed to Improve Traffic Congestion in Other Cities 

-Freeways Create Urban Sprawl: UDOT’s Value System Doesn’t Reflect the Public’s Value System

-Expanding Freeways Contributes to the Climate Crisis,

-Freeways are Major Contributors to Air Pollution in Multiple Ways and Increase Urban Heat

-Freeways are Not the Solution and they are a Poor Return on Investment (There are far better, more cost effective solutions than more asphalt, more cars, more pollution, more traffic)

Public comments are open through November 13, 2023. You can comment at the link here.

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