UDOT study reveals noise wall warranted near Jeremy Ranch | ParkRecord.com

UDOT study reveals noise wall warranted near Jeremy Ranch

Concrete wall must be approved by nearly 40 homeowners to be built

The Utah Department of Transportation is considering constructing a concrete noise wall along the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 near Jeremy Ranch to mitigate traffic noise.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is considering constructing Summit County's first concrete noise wall along the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 near Jeremy Ranch to mitigate traffic noise.

UDOT completed an environmental study, including a noise analysis, over several weeks during the winter from Jeremy Ranch to Parley's Summit in anticipation of a climbing-lane project that will add an additional westbound lane between Jeremy Ranch and Lamb's Canyon in the spring of 2018.

John Montoya, UDOT project manager, said the additional climbing lane won't necessarily increase traffic noise beyond the current levels. But, he added, "The threshold for needing a wall is already being met in this particular case."

"When a project comes along we consider that and we evaluate it against the noise policy, which has some financial thresholds and noise reduction thresholds," Montoya said. "If we are able to meet those we move it forward to a balloting process, which is the point we are at now. We allow people to weigh in on that decision to put up a wall."

UDOT is scheduled to host an informational meeting about the noise study analysis and balloting process from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School. The meeting will include an open house portion to allow residents to ask questions and provide comments. Another meeting is expected to be held within the next few weeks.

Montoya said 75 percent of homeowners within a certain range of Interstate 80, roughly 40 homes located directly north of Jeremy Ranch Golf & Country Club, would need to approve the wall.

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"We are just starting the process and we want everyone to be aware of what is going on because noise walls tend to be somewhat controversial," Montoya said. "But only those first-and-second row receptors will end up having a vote."

If approved by nearby property owners, a 3,000-foot-long concrete wall would be constructed along the westbound lanes of the interstate between the Jeremy Ranch on-ramp and Hidden Cove Road. The 18-foot-tall wall would cost approximately $1.3 million and be funded entirely by UDOT.

UDOT has allocated $17 million for the climbing lane project, scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018. A $5 million grant from the Utah Transportation Commission for wildlife mitigation will fund construction of the wildlife overpass and three more miles of wildlife fencing. The money won't be available until October of 2017.

"We did not anticipate building a wall up there and we are hoping there would be enough in the $22 million budget for it. But we are actually doubtful that is the case," Montoya. "We will have to look at our budget now to see how we could fund this."

Montoya said nearly all of UDOT's major corridors along Interstate 80 and Interstate 15, including the mountain view corridor, have noise walls. While he admitted similar projects have been voted down in the past, he said several comments were made during a UDOT open house in April about noise so he feels "this one could pass."

"That is why we are slowing down this process. We don't necessarily have to do these information meetings, but we feel it is important for the people up there to know and weigh in on this," Montoya said. "We are willing to build a wall and we are willing not to build a wall. We just want to make sure we are doing what would be most valuable to those residents."

The informational meeting is scheduled to be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School. For more information about the renovate I-80 project, contact UDOT's team at 888-528-9675 or renovatei80@utah.gov.