Logan must start over on 200 East bypass paperwork,
February 16, 2009 | NORTH LOGAN -- After eight years,
the city will have to begin the process to receive federal
funds to build 200 East all over again, according to
the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT).
The Cache Metropolitan Planning Organization (CMPO)
started talking about building an alternate route to
help with traffic flow on Main Street about 10 years
ago, says Jeff Jorgensen, city administrator.
He said the initial plan was to solicit federal funding
for the project which would cover about 93 percent of
the costs, but the process to get that funding involved
an environmental impact statement that is taking much
longer than expected.
"This is an easy project. There's nothing out there,"
Jorgensen said. "There's a road that's already been
used there, a dirt road, so it's not like we're going
through pristine wilderness are or something like that.
There's no bald eagles that are going to be displaced.
It's just crazy."
The statement was created by J-U-B Engineers and initially
contained around 12 alternative routes, which through
a process of public review was narrowed down to four
options, and then finally down to two. One route goes
almost directly from 1400 North to Hyde Park Lane, while
the other takes a small detour around the west side
of the Thomas Edison Charter School, and cuts through
the Eccles Ice Center parking lot.
"Each one of them has some good and some bad to it,
so there's no option that comes out as the best one,"
The preferred option, which is the straighter of the
two, goes through a neighborhood that would be affected
by the 99-foot right of way road and the speed at which
the cars traveling it would be going. This would be
helped by the two round-abouts that would be placed
at the north and south ends of the neighborhood to slow
The plan for the round-about at the north end would
cut into the parking lot of the ice center, which has
caused the ice center's board and the county to refuse
to sign a needed statement saying that the route has
minimal effect on the center.
To resolve this problem, the round-about has been
planned to move a little northeast, which would actually
help with the flow of traffic out of the parking lot
at the ice center, but because it has been moved further
from the neighborhood, the desired speed reduction might
not be as effective.
The route that heads further west would have an even
larger impact on the ice center parking lot, taking
out an entire corner on its attempt to return to 200
Hyde Park Mayor David Kooyman said, "When the ice
arena was built it was built with the knowledge that
the road, 2nd East, would be on the east side of the
ice arena, and our parking would be on the south of
the ice arena. As soon as the feds came in and said,
'we're going to have you use 6B,' it caused all kinds
of concern with the county council, with the cities."
Kooyman said the more government you get involved
in processes like this, the more complex it becomes.
There are several other problems that have arisen through
the process to gain this federal money.
"It's also compounded by the problem that this land
down here around the Eccles Ice Center and where the
corn maze is," Jorgensen said, "is all owned by the
county and it was given to the county to be recreation
land by the federal government years and years ago,
because at one point they were going to move the fairgrounds
"But they're not going to do that anymore, but this
has to be used for recreation. Because it was federally
donated land it has to go to another agency of the federal
government to approve putting this road through it."
Because North Logan wants to build its city center
on 200 East, the project of city development would be
greatly benefited by the construction of this road,
but the process would probably take about six to seven
more years through this process. The city has therefore
gone to the county to find alternate means of acquiring
the needed funds.
"There was vote a year and a half ago or so where
the citizens on Cache Valley said they would have an
additional quarter-cent sales tax that would be dedicated
to roads," Jorgensen said. "We got the county to agree
to use some of the quarter-cent sales tax."
Attorneys have told the city that any attempt to start
construction without a finalization in the federal process
could be seen as an attempt to influence the decision,
but at this point, the city doesn't seem to care.
"I met with the UDOT people," Jorgensen said, "and
said, well regardless of which decision is made, we're
still going to have a 2nd East, even if this road goes
in, we're not going to just have no road here, so by
us putting a road from there to there it doesn't preclude
them from doing this."
The plan now is to use development money to build
about four blocks of road to help with the city center
development. The road would be started this summer and
would only contain three lanes but could expand to five
and continue on to Hyde Park if federal funds ever come
Kooyman said he think that might take longer than
expected, "The next problem is that even though the
feds are providing the money, there isn't the money
to do the whole thing. The money's not there, and who
knows when it will be there. So we're in a position
where we might be working on something that's not going
to get done in ten or twenty years."