Senator Weiler proposes extension of Legacy Parkway truck ban
Sen. Todd Weiler has introduced legislation for the Utah 2019 General Session proposing an extension of the truck ban on Legacy Parkway to June 30, 2022.
Legacy Parkway has an interesting history. In 1996, Governor Mike Leavitt first announced plans for a 120-mile-long “Legacy Highway” to extend from Brigham City to Nephi. The following year, environmental studies began for the design and construction of the “West Davis Highway,” later changed to “Legacy Highway” in 1998. It was anticipated to be a 14-mile segment from North Salt Lake to Farmington. The final environmental study for Legacy Highway was released in 2000. In Jan. 2001, UDOT received approval from the federal government to begin construction.
Immediately thereafter, a lawsuit was initiated by the Utahns for Better Transportation, Mayor Rocky Anderson and the Sierra Club. In Aug. 2001, construction began following dismissal of the lawsuit, but progress was once again halted when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction. Construction remained stymied for more than four years until a settlement was reached in Jul. 2005.
The terms of the settlement included,
55-mph speed limit
truck prohibition (5 or more axles; 80,000 pounds or greater registered gross vehicle weight)
noise reducing pavement
a ban on billboards
121 acres of additional property added to Legacy Nature Preserve
other requirements like studying the effect of the noise within the Nature Preserve.
Expansion of the Legacy Parkway beyond 4 lanes was deferred until 2020. Unless new legislation is passed, the terms of the agreement will all terminate on Jan. 1, 2020.
The legislature met in special session in Sep. 2005 to approve the terms. Only the truck ban was codified in statute (72-3-113), while the billboard prohibition was protected through a Scenic Byway designation. The speed limit is set by UDOT and could be changed after Jan. 1, 2020.
In 2006, construction commenced on “Legacy Parkway.” The settlement was designed to limit the ecological impact on the nature preserve. These measures included adjusting the curvature of travel lanes and entrance ramps to protect wetlands and other sensitive habitats. Legacy Parkway opened to traffic in 2008.