The Utah Department of Transportation wants feedback from the Heber Valley’s residents, officials and businesses on the potential for a highway bypass around Heber City.
The second round of input will be used in UDOT’s environmental impact study for the project later this spring.
UDOT finished the “early scoping process” by holding informational meetings last summer and compiling public comments then. The environmental impact study is part of the National Environmental Policy Act required when federal funds finance roads or highways.
UDOT spokesman Geoff DuPaix said public input is critical for the process to succeed. Heber City's Main Street business district is bisected by U.S. Highway 40, which serves a large volume of individual and commercial traffic.
DuPaix said UDOT uses the same process when considering similar communities throughout the state.
"This is actually fairly common when you're looking at any type of transportation improvement along a main street that is also either a state or federal route,” he said. “That's why we follow this same type of vigorous process and make sure that decisions are feasible and reasonable. At the same time, they take into consideration the community needs. Cause it's all about the quality of life. These transportation solutions need to provide choices that help support community needs. Otherwise, it can be detrimental to how a community grows and develops."
Since the project concerns a U.S. highway, the Heber Valley corridor EIS team has filed the required notice of intent with the federal government.
"So, the study is funded by the Utah Department of Transportation,” DuPaix said. “It was funding that was allocated by the Transportation Commission for the civic study. It's being paid for with state dollars. It's about $3 million for this study. And as far as the notice of intent--because this EIS process is established by the National Environmental Policy Act, that notice of intent is what officially starts that EIS process."
UDOT first held a virtual public meeting in August that garnered extensive public comment.
DuPaix said the second public comment period starts April 30 and closes June 14. He said all comments must be in writing and submitted online at UDOT’s website or by calling 801-210-0498.
"There are no shortcuts,” he said. “We still follow the process because it's a process that helps establish the future transportation solutions that may be needed in order to improve mobility in the Heber Valley area."
Residents without internet access or who require other accommodations to comment should notify the project team at 801-210-0498 or email email@example.com.