WEST JORDAN — A retired Utah couple has been forced to move as part of a project to expand Bangerter Highway in West Jordan. The homeowners were among two dozen other homes that are being impacted.
“It’s not just a house. It’s a home,” said JoAnne Bennion.
She raised three daughters at their home at 6200 South Kentucky Drive. One year ago, Bennion and partner Paul Newsome learned their home faced the possibility of being torn down. In April, that became a reality.
“They said, ‘Okay, here is the map and if you’re on this. We are going to demolish.’ So, we looked at that and I’m like, ‘I knew it, I’m on there,’” said Bennion.
Officials with the Utah Department of Transportation said the expansion will eventually be better for the community, but they know the heartache it brings to families.
“It’s one of the hardest things that we do because these are people’s homes. We do everything we can to make sure it’s fair, and make sure they can stay in that home as long as they need to,” said UDOT spokesperson Zach Whitney. “We will only demolish those homes when we are ready to use that property.”
Whitney said growth in the valley was bringing more traffic to the roads.
“The west side of Salt Lake County is growing exponentially,” he said.
Whitney said UDOT was doing what is necessary to meet those demands, which means buying residents out on an individual basis, and giving them fair market value. Bennion and Newsome received just over $300,000 for her house.
UDOT also paid moving fees.
“You don’t get much from Social Security, but we’re going to have a bit of a mortgage. It’s not huge but still it’s going to be tight,” Bennion said.
Bennion said they will miss their new patio and view.
“You can see all the way to Mt. Timpanogos,” said Newsome.
It could be a year before the home would actually be demolished. Overall, the retired couple said UDOT has been great. They were just sad to leave a home they thought they’d live in the rest of their lives.