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Residents divided on proposed Parley’s project

A proposed Parley's Interchange project is proving to be controversial. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Residents remain divided on a UDOT proposal that would redesign the mouth of Parley’s Canyon.

The potential project is aiming at the busy Interstate-80 and Interstate-215 interchange. This would extend to 2300 East and impact Foothill Drive.

Parley’s problem

Tammy Champo, Public Involvement and Communications with UDOT, explains their goal.

“To improve safety, improve congestion,” she says. “Update the design of the interchange to meet current standards.”

UDOT says an undertaking of this capacity is long overdue.

“The area really hasn’t had any major improvements since the 1960’s,” she explains. “[This would] bring the design up to today’s standards and helps reduce some of the weaving and the S-curves in the area.”

Meanwhile, Parley’s Summit is being addressed as officials are tackling the need to widen lanes.

Local pushback

Although, not everyone is on board.

UDOT hosted an informational meeting last night at Highland High school to discuss the Parley’s project. A group called “Say No to Foothill Freeway” showed up to voice their concerns.

They say adding more lanes would negatively impact the environment.

Officials with UDOT say they welcome the input, even if it’s closer to criticism.

“Before UDOT does any improvements we definitely want to make sure we’re following the environmental process and involving public input,” explains Champo.

The department is pushing back on some of those concerns, though.

“The Parley’s Interchange doesn’t actually propose any widening or additional capacity,” she says. “It does show that we’d be tying into Foothill from the I-80 area.”

This isn’t the first time that residents and local groups have expressed concerns at a potential project in the area.

More than a year ago, Cycling Utah expressed their worry about how bike trails may be compromised.

UDOT is displaying up-to-date information about the Parley’s project on their website.

They say some of the highlights include safety improvements, updated design, better traffic flow and regional mobility.