ABOUT LEGACY PARKWAY
Legacy Parkway (designated as State Route 67, SR-67) is an 11.5-mile-long (18.5 km) four-lane controlled-access parkway located almost completely within Davis County in the northern part of the U.S. state of Utah. The parkway travels north from Interstate 215 (I-215) in northwestern Salt Lake City to an interchange named the Wasatch Weave in Farmington with two intermediate interchanges providing access to Woods Cross and Centerville. Wetlands of the nearby Great Salt Lake and nature preserves border the western side of the parkway while the eastern side roughly parallels Union Pacific and Utah Transit Authority rail lines and I-15.
Construction began in 2006 and was completed in 2008, with the parkway opening in September of the same year. The parkway was controversial in its construction and was challenged in court several times before a compromise was met between the state and the Sierra Club, which limited the speed on the road and banned trucks on the highway except in emergencies. In addition to the restrictions on speed and trucks, the road was reduced from a six-lane expressway to a four-lane parkway. On average, between 20,000 and 23,000 vehicles use the parkway daily.
The parkway begins at an incomplete interchange with I-215 in extreme northern Salt Lake County near the Jordan River Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area. The interchange allows motorists from the Interstate to transfer onto Legacy Parkway and travelers to access I-215 southbound. After about 1⁄4 mile (400 m), Legacy Parkway enters Davis County, and heads northerly with two lanes in each direction through semi-rural Woods Cross. The parkway then turns northeasterly and back north again, meeting 500 South at a diamond interchange, which also provides a connection to Redwood Road (SR-68). The eastern border of the Legacy Nature Preserve is formed by the parkway as it travels north. In West Bountiful, the parkway curves to the northeast as it follows the contour of the wetlands which lie on the western side of the road. Before reverting to its original northerly direction, the route intersects Parrish Lane (SR-105) at another diamond interchange. Past the intersection, Union Pacific and Utah Transit Authority (FrontRunner) railroad tracks run between the parkway and I-15 to the east. For the remainder of the parkway's length, I-15 is located approximately 300 feet (91 m) east. Upon entering Farmington, the parkway gains one lane in each direction and terminates at a triple-junction with I-15, SR-225 and U.S. Route 89 west of Lagoon. This interchange is referred to as the Wasatch Weave.
The design of the road was re-envisioned to include extensive wetland protection west of the parkway and in the parkway median, a trail system along the side of the parkway,and numerous pedestrian overpasses and underpasses for ease of access to the trail system. Many of the architectural features were also specially-designed to give the parkway a unique feel. There are a total of 2,225 acres (900 ha) of protected areas to the west of the highway, and an additional 20 acres (8.1 ha) of wetlands along the length of the highway. The Legacy Nature Preserve lays along the western border of the parkway near its southern terminus. Further north, the parkway forms much of the eastern border of the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area. For the entirety of the parkway's length it is paralleled by the Legacy Parkway Trail, and is partially paralleled by the Denver and Rio Grande Western rail trail.
Every year, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) conducts a series of surveys on its highways in the state to measure traffic volume. This is expressed in terms of average annual daily traffic (AADT), a measure of traffic volume for any average day of the year. In 2012, UDOT calculated that as many 22,955 vehicles used the highway on an average day near its junction with 500 South, and as few as 20,240 vehicles used the highway at its southern terminus at I-215. The Federal Highway Administration classifies Legacy Parkway as a MAP-21 Principal Arterial, and as such is part of the National Highway System.
Legacy Parkway is part of the larger Legacy Highway project first proposed by then-governor Mike Leavitt, which ultimately will run north from Nephi toward Brigham City. The concept of a western Davis County highway has existed since the 1960s, with some proposals routing the highway over Antelope Island or across Farmington Bay. Legacy Parkway was to extend to the west side of the Salt Lake City International Airport and connect to I-80 at 5600 West; however, that plan was abandoned in October 1997. A survey taken by Valley Research for The Salt Lake Tribune in December 1997 showed 64 percent of Davis County residents were in support of building the parkway, with just 19 percent opposing the construction. State officials had hoped to have the parkway open in time for the 2002 Winter Olympics being held in Salt Lake City; however, construction was delayed too many times for that to occur.
Initial construction of Legacy Parkway began in 2001; however, it was forced to stop as a result of lawsuits over the completeness of the environmental impact statement (EIS). A federal appeals court ruled that the EIS was "inadequate" and "...arbitrary and capricious" as it did not study other alternate routes that were less harmful to wetlands that the parkway was originally to be routed through. A supplemental EIS (SEIS), which changed the routing of the highway as well as increased the amount of land to be part of the Legacy Nature Preserve, was completed in January 2005. The SEIS also added in the trail system that now parallels the parkway. On September 21, 2005, the State of Utah and the Sierra Club (acting on behalf of numerous groups opposing the overall Legacy Highway project) officially signed a compromise regarding Legacy Parkway. Some of the agreements reached include no billboards along the route, no semi-trailer trucks allowed on the parkway (except in cases where they are used in response to an accident or there is construction on I-15), and a 55-mile-per-hour (90 km/h) speed limit.The speed limit on the parallel I-15 is 70 mph (110 km/h); however speeds in the leftmost lane can reach upwards of 80 mph (130 km/h). Original plans for the highway had included a six-lane expressway, compared to the four-lane controlled-access parkway that was built.
Construction of the parkway resumed in March 2006, with limited construction activity followed by heavy construction on the road beginning December 2006. The parkway earned the Federal Highway Administration's Environmental Excellence Award in 2007. The highway was opened by then-governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., John Njord of UDOT and Stuart Adams of the Utah Transportation Commission on September 13, 2008 around 4:40 PM. The total cost of the parkway was $685 million (equivalent to $769 million in 2016). The original budget for the parkway was $451 million (equivalent to $506 million in 2016). A 5K and 10K run (3.1 and 6.2 mi) and a 20 mi (32 km) bike race were held the morning of the opening of the highway along the main roadway to support cancer research. The route was designated a Utah Scenic Byway (as the Great Salt Lake Legacy Parkway Scenic Byway) on May 16, 2002, six years prior to its opening. Should the parkway be extended further north, significant work will have to be done to reroute the parkway or move the Farmington FrontRunner station and shopping complex which was built just north of the parkway.
LEGACY PARKWAY TIMELINE
1996 Governor Mike Leavitt announces plans for 120 mile long “Legacy Highway” to extend from Brigham City to Nephi
1997 Environmental studies begin for West Davis Highway
1998 Name of West Davis Highway changed to Legacy Highway, a 14 mile segment from North Salt Lake to Farmington
1998 In October Draft environmental study for Legacy Highway is released
2000 Final environmental study for Legacy Highway is released
2001 (January) UDOT receives approval from FHWA to begin construction on the Legacy Highway
2001 ( January) Lawsuits filed by Utahns for Better Transportation, Rocky Anderson, and the Sierra Club
2001 (August) Construction begins on Legacy Highway – Lawsuits are dismissed
2001 (Nov) 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issues injunction after plaintiffs appeal
2002 (May) Legacy Highway designated a scenic byway by the Utah State Scenic Byway Committee (designation would become active when the highway was completed and accepted for vehicular traffic)
2002 (Sep) Court of Appeals asks for more study of environmental impacts
2002 (Nov) Work begins on supplemental environmental study for the Legacy Highway
2004 (Dec) Draft environmental study released for public comment
2005 (Jan) UDOT and plaintiffs begin negotiations to come to compromise that will allow construction to continue
2005 (March) Work begins on final environmental study
2005 (July) Possible settlement reached; legislative committee created to renegotiate
2005 (Sept) Legislature approves agreement on principle and Gov Huntsman signs agreement
2006 Construction re-commenced on the newly name “Legacy Parkway”
2008 (Sep) Legacy Parkway opens to traffic
2019 Attempts to extend the ban on heavy trucks (HB 339 and SB 119) fail to pass out of legislative standing committees
ALLIES OF LEGACY PARKWAY
Many nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, and citizens were involved in fighting to create the Legacy Parkway we all know and love today. They continue to help support the effort to extend the Truck Ban and find solutions that would help our leaders make the right choices for our residents, our bike commuters, our car commuters, and the families that use our parks and play on school playgrounds. Today, we have many of them supporting our efforts to extend the heavy truck ban.