SYRACUSE — Environmentalists and homeowners are pleading with UDOT to ditch plans for a highway in Davis County.
The West Davis Corridor project will ideally give commuters in Davis and Weber counties a more convenient drive. Opponents of the plan say the road threatens lifestyles, wetlands and even schools.
One of the roads will run right along Bluff Road in Syracuse: one side of the road is populated with homes and the other with a school. A group of protestors gathered Tuesday to argue that the highway isn't worth the sacrifice people are being asked to make.
"My view is Antelope Island, the fields over there, cows in the morning," said Tracy Silva, a Syracuse resident, describing her home. "Instead, I'm going to have a freeway."
Silva has three kids at Syracuse Arts Academy and worries about the impact it could have on their school.
"It would be right next to our kindergarten doors," she said.
She was one of several homeowners joining with environmental groups to fight the proposed construction plan that feeds into the nearby Legacy Highway.
UDOT is currently looking at two alternatives. One would take the highway further west toward the wetlands, while the other would impact homes which would arguably affect more neighborhoods. Some argue the best option is no highway at all.
"It seems like a colossal waste of money," said Todd Jenson, a Farmington homeowner. "Taxpayer dollars should really go toward improving our transportation system, with other methods, like mass transit (and) UTA buses."
UDOT spokesman, John Gleason says it may be hard to see now, but the proposed corridor into Legacy Highway will be a future necessity.
"Utah is growing so much," Gleason said. "It's really important to stay in front and stay on top of this and really meet the needs of transportation in the upcoming decades."
But Silva said putting a highway through the town would change everything she's come to love about her community.
"We would leave Syracuse," she said. "We're the ones that live here. We're the ones that have to live with this choice."
As the process rolls forward, UDOT is expected to release an environmental impact statement next week to give residents a better idea where the project is headed.