Summit County residents call on Governor to investigate policy violations by UDOT on proposed noise wall

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah – Some residents in Summit County are lodging serious accusations against the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT).

The group called “Citizens Against the Wall” said UDOT violated its own policies with the proposal of a noise wall.

UDOT is adding a truck climbing lane between Jeremy Ranch and Parley’s Summit to help move truck traffic along. With the addition comes noise, so they’re installing a wall along the climbing lane. Citizens Against the Wall doesn't like the sound of it.

“We're trying to stop it because this wall will totally change the character of our community,” said Tom Farkas with Citizens Against the Wall.

For a year now, they’ve brought up serious concerns with UDOT, but say they’re being ignored.

“UDOT has arbitrarily made up and falsified their cost calculations,” said Farkas.

Farkas said UDOT didn’t follow policy on costs and benefits of the barrier, which will now be a combination berm/wall. They originally proposed building an 18-foot concrete wall. Farkas also claims UDOT denied some residents who would be impacted, an opportunity to vote on the proposal.

27 property owners were polled in Dec. 2017 and 93 percent favored the noise barrier.

“UDOT keeps saying they're just following policy, but we've documented and demonstrated they obviously are not,” said Farkas.

John Gleason, spokesperson for UDOT said they are committed to working closely with residents.

He stated that two engineering firms evaluated the project and determined UDOT is following all guidelines.

“We've got to at some point move along with the process, and trust those experts and do what those people who are directly in the path of additional noise want us to do,” said Gleason.

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer. Farkas hopes the governor will put the brakes on the project.

“UDOT is a state agency. The governor should have the authority to say, 'wait a minute.' All we're asking for is for them to intercede," Farkas said.

For a link to the Citizens Against the Wall website, click here: https://www.citizensagainstthewall.org/