ST. GEORGE – Washington City residents will have the opportunity Tuesday to see what options road planners are proposing as a part of a study on potential road project that some fear will put a highway interchange in the heart of the downtown area.
An open house is being held for the “MP 11 Project” at the Washington County Community Center, 350 Community Center Drive, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The public will be able see what progress the Utah Department of Transportation’s project team has made with various alternative proposals designed to alleviate traffic congestion around the Green Springs/Exit 10 interchange and the surrounding roads.
The public will also be able to offer comments and suggestions at the open house.
The MP 11 Project (MP 11 referring to milepost 11 on Interstate 15) study covers the area between I-15 Exits 10 and 13 – Green Springs and Washington Parkway respectively – and was previously identified by county road planners as the possible site of a new highway interchange.
An interchange set between Exits 10 and 13 has been among the options considered by the MP 11 Project team as recently as Aug. 7, when the Washington City Council was given a preview of some of the potential options that could be presented at the open house.
An interchange could be placed at Main Street or 300 East with some accompanying road realignment and other improvements, Lee Cabell, of Horrocks Engineers, told the City Council during the meeting.
Those were two of six recommendations shared with the City Council; however, Cabell said what the council saw then may not be the same that will be presented at Tuesday’s open house. The engineers are continuing to refine the proposed alternatives and any that appeared before the council may be altered or dropped entirely by the time of the open house.
“Tonight is a draft” of the study details, Cabell said during the council meeting
The open house comes a year after the public meeting on the MP 11 Project that was held at Washington Elementary. At the time many residents worried that an interchange was a forgone conclusion and shared that concern with road planners and UDOT representatives.
Road planners have stressed that the interchange concept is just one of several possible options and may be dropped in favor of a better alternative.
Some residents and City Council members have expressed concern that an interchange in downtown Washington City would destroy the character of the area and also create a public safety risk.
Individuals who are unable to attend the open house will still be able to review the alternatives online and submit their comments at mp11.org.
Comments can all be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or sent by mail to MP 11 Environmental Study, 333 S. Bluff St., Suite 101, St. George, Utah 84770.
Public comment following the open house can be submitted through Sept. 27.
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