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West Valley City Journal

Inconvenient, but necessary: residents closest to Mountain View Corridor endure disturbances, understand need

Sep 23, 2019 03:22PM ● By Darrell Kirby

Construction works on Mountain View Corridor grinds away next to a house near 3500 South and 5600 West. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals)

By Darrell Kirby | [email protected]

They knew it was coming. 

With years of planning and months of public meetings and other means of distributing information, residents had a pretty good idea of what to expect — or so they thought — when construction began in May on the latest phase of Mountain View Corridor in West Valley City. 

Yet, since work began on the four-lane divided highway between 4100 South and State Route 201, some people living in a neighborhood directly east of the construction near 3500 South and 5600 West say it has brought inconveniences and disturbances to their lives. 

Trucks rumble across the work zone dozens of time each day, hauling dirt and other materials, back-hoes and other heavy equipment dig up and move soil from one place to another, and residents just one or two houses away from the activity say it has not been easy for them. 

"The dust," Jalayne McKee said without hesitation when asked what the impact has been on her home of 25 years. "The dust is crazy. I washed my windows today. The dust was an inch thick." Construction equipment grinding away also causes her house to shake. "It's like a small earthquake all the time," McKee added.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Karen Chantry, who has lived in her home next to the construction zone for 26 years. 

 “We have a lot of dust, a lot of noise. Working at night, there’s the lights," she said. "It's been a little bit annoying." 

Her water has been turned off several times since construction began, Chantry said, but “they’re pretty courteous when they come to let us know they’re shutting the water off.”

Still, Chantry says she has no plans to go anywhere. A neighbor’s home is for sale, however. Chantry says it is primarily for family reasons, but “the highway does have an influence.” 

Lewis Nielson has lived in his brick home for two decades. Leaning against the railing outside his front door, he surveyed the construction activity just yards away. “It makes our house dusty and we can feel a lot of vibration." 

He says periodic inspections are done on his house to make sure the shaking from the construction work hasn’t affected its foundation.

Another impact of the roadwork, Nielson says, is how it has somewhat changed the way on-again, off-again drug activity is conducted in and near his neighborhood. 

“They flash their headlights,” he said of cars on his side of the construction zone and those at Hunter Regional Park to the west, surmising that it is a way for buyers and sellers to communicate when it is safe to deal. 

Illegal narcotics sales are also a concern of Jalayne McKee. A ten-space parking lot will be built at the end of her street to allow access to a walking and biking trail that will run along this newest four-mile stretch of Mountain View Corridor. She worries that the lot will also attract loitering and other undesirable activities. 

On a positive note, McKee, Chantry, and Neilson say they understand the need for the roadway a and they have been kept well-informed by the Utah Department of Transportation, contractors, and others involved with the project. 

McKee receives regular email messages, flyers, and letters from UDOT keeping her and other impacted residents updated on the construction. Contractor pickup trucks are constantly roaming the neighborhood and their drivers courteously answer questions from residents. “You just have to flag them down,” she said.

That confirms the input UDOT project engineer Codee Raymond says he has received. “We’ve received really good feedback as far as the information they’ve (residents) received.” Perhaps the most visible daily aspect of the construction are the haul trucks crisscrossing the work zone, but even that has not been a big problem for most people. “We’ve had minimal complaints,” Raymond added.

A Community Coordination Team meets monthly in which residents, business owners, and representatives from West Valley City, Salt Lake City, UDOT, contractors, and nearby schools discuss current and upcoming roadwork and ways to cope with the impacts.

Mountain View Corridor will connect to a widened intersection at 3500 South and 5600 West and a new interchange at S.R. 201 when the entire phase is completed in summer of 2021. 

Bridges will carry the thoroughfare over 3100 South and 2700 South with no direct access to those streets. Thirteen bridges and six pedestrian overpasses will be built. 

Raymond says the total value of the current phase of the construction is $335 million. That includes roadwork, property and right-of-way acquisition, and utility work. 

Despite the construction being well underway, Raymond said community presentations on the project can still be requested by emailing [email protected] 

Updates can also be found at www.udot.utah.gov/mountainview/salt-lake-county and by searching for and following Mountain View Corridor on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Mountain View Corridor at full completion will stretch 35 miles from S.R. 73 in Lehi to Interstate 80 and will help accommodate north-south traffic flow on the growing west side of Salt Lake and Utah counties. Raymond says funding to extend the highway from S.R. 201 to I-80 has not been appropriated and thus the schedule and completion for that phase is undetermined.