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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A group of Lehi residents have banded together to protest a six-lane highway the state is planning to build through northern Utah County.
Organizers say they expect hundreds to demonstrate against the Utah Department of Transportation's proposed Mountain View Corridor this week.
"I'm furious," said David Klock, Lehi resident, developer and conservationist. "I'm angry that we don't have some mass transportation plan. Anyway, we got a lot more people interested."
Citizens Organized for Smarter Transportation are planning a demonstration Wednesday to protest the highway. The project would cut through the west side of Salt Lake County and northern Utah County to connect Interstate 80 in Salt Lake County to Interstate 15 in Pleasant Grove.
Klock says what started out as an organization of about 10 people in January now boasts a membership of several thousand.
"Mostly it's individuals, but what is remarkable about it is it's such a diverse group," he said. "We have landowners holding hands with developers, we have conservationists holding hands with hunters and fishermen, we have individual homeowners that are just in it to protect their future and their families."
Sarah Kimmel joined the organization about a month ago. The backyard of her newly constructed home is on 1900 South, one of the proposed sites for the Mountain View Corridor.
"They shouldn't be selling homes if there are going to be freeways going through it," she said. "We moved from southern California hoping this would be the last home we were moving into."
There may be hundreds of protesters, but UDOT has millions of dollars.
The state's budget surplus allowed Legislators to give transportation its largest appropriation in 10 years. Among the plans for the $1.4 billion UDOT will have at its disposal beginning in July is a $90 million infusion that will pay off $1 billion in bonds for the $2 billion Mountain View Corridor project.
"We are just doing this as landowners to be protected," said landowner Claude Lamp. "At this time I think it's not the best alternative for moving traffic in and out of Utah County."
------ Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)