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Today's word on journalism

Friday, September 1, 2006

"[F]ew things are as much a part of our lives as the news. With the advent of sophisticated mass communication, the news has become a sort
of instant historical record of the pace, progress, problems, and the hopes of society. On the other hand--and here's the puzzle -- the news provides, at best, a superficial and distorted image of society. . . . The puzzle, simply put, is this: How can anything so superficial be so central to our lives?"

--W. Lance Bennett, political science professor, 1988

North Logan council decides to leave final road decision up to UDOT

By Diana Hurren

May 1, 2006 | NORTH LOGAN -- Main Street through Logan has become too congested with traffic and Cache Valley is finally getting ready to take action. A corridor has been proposed that would run parallel to U.S. 91 in order to split up the heavy traffic making routes safer and more efficient.

"The big thing is safety," said North Logan Councilman Mark Williams. "Hopefully it will be a really safe corridor."

The section of road being considered to run through North Logan is currently being called the Hyde Park/North Logan Transportation Corridor. This section of the corridor runs approximately three miles from 1400 North in North Logan to 3700 North in Hyde Park. The road is scheduled to run somewhere between U.S. 91 and 400 East but the exact placement is still up for debate.

North Logan's master plan states that if an alternative route were needed in the future that it would run along 200 East, but because residential neighborhoods run along that road now there has been a lot of heated debate over the matter. To avoid the residential neighborhood the corridor would have to run east splitting a few farm properties, which is also a grief-causing idea with residents.

"It's just something that needs to be done," said Williams. "This is the best as far as all the properties go," he said after stating that he was the only council member to request the corridor run directly through the residential neighborhood. "It just makes the most sense because it was laid out in the master plan," he said.

The Federal Highway Administration, the Utah Department of Transportation and Cache Metropolitan Planning Organization have been involved with all the affected city councils in planning and preparing the best route for the corridor.

North Logan's city council had a hard time deciding what plan they would approve for the North Logan section of the corridor. Three different plans were proposed, but all appeared to have both good and bad possibilities. In the end the council decided to send a letter listing the pros and cons of every option to UDOT so they could make the best decision for the city instead.

"We don't know how our residents will be affected yet," said Williams in regard to the council's decision to leave the decision up to state officials.

Studies are still being done on the area to determine the benefits of adding the corridor, which will soon be submitted to UDOT and FHWA. Once the two organizations receive the final information they will be able to start making permanent plans and make important decisions on funding.

North Logan city planner Cordell Batt said it will probably be 2009 or 2010 before construction on the corridor even begins and it could take over a year to finish.

JUB Engineering has been conducting a study in the valley to explore the effects the corridor could have on the environments. Although the study is not yet completed, citizens can expect a public hearing on the environmental impacts study to take place sometime in June 2006.


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