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Davis County fights to keep Legacy Parkway closed off to trucks

Signs warn of "no trucks" on Legacy Parkway on the north bound lanes of I-215 on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. (Photo: Steve Griffin / Deseret News)

For years, Legacy Parkway – an 11-mile stretch of open road that runs through Davis County – has been one of Utah’s most peaceful drives.

The road gives drivers an open view of wetlands full of wildlife unobstructed by walls, all in a near-perfect silence ensured by the rubberized, sound-dampening pavement and a complete and total ban on transport trucks.

But all that’s set to change on Jan. 1, 2020, when Legacy Parkway’s truck ban is scheduled to expire. Walls will be set up, trucks will fill the streets, and Davis County residents – as they’ve made very clear – aren’t going to be happy.

The fight to save Legacy Parkway

Legacy Parkway vs. I-15

Legacy Parkway, in the forefront, runs next to the I-15, seen filled with far more congestion in the background. (Photo: Ravell Call / Deseret News)

In the last days of Utah’s latest legislative session, Davis County legislators did everything they could to save their parkway from being opened up to truck traffic.

Every attempt failed.

Two bills were put forward to extend the ban on trucks, one sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler and the other by Rep. Melissa Ballard, but both were shot down during the committee hearings.

“We never even made it to the floor,” Weiler told KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic.

To those outside of Davis County, Weiler says, the fight for Legacy Parkway seemed like a spoiled community trying to hold on to a unique privilege.

“The reception I got,” he says, was: “You guys think you’re special down in Davis County. You have your special road that trucks can’t drive on.”

But for the people of Davis County, Weiler says, this change is going to affect a lot.

Many residents, unaware that Legacy Parkway was going to change, built homes with doors facing the parkway, designed off the belief that trucks would never be blaring past their homes. But Weiler says with trucks coming in, those doors will now be facing sound walls and the noises of a cluttered highway, destroying the peace their homes once enjoyed.

Some residents of Davis County seem to share Weiler’s frustration. Bringing trucks on the parkway, one Legacy Parkway driver told Dave & Dujanovic, would ruin a special place in Utah.

“We have few places left that we can really enjoy when you’re on the road,” the listener, who called into the show, said. “They would destroy that silenced highway… We would no longer be able to see the moon and the stars.”

It’s a worry that’s plagued a lot of Davis County communities.

“This highway is special,” Woods Cross administrator Gary Uresk told KSL.com, citing its path along the Great Salt Lake and the natural wildlife that fills its roadsides.

Davis County resident Dorothy Owen throws her support behind the truck ban, as well.

“It’s called Legacy Parkway for a reason. It’s because it was to preserve a legacy of the community,” she says. “And what we’re seeing now happen is something that was very important to us seven years ago is being dismissed.”

Nonetheless, barring a miracle, it seems unlikely that Legacy Parkway will be saved. Every bill to delay that Jan. 1, 2020 deadline has already failed, and few truck companies are moved by Legacy Parkway’s worries.

“We pay the interstate tax. Regular vehicles don’t,” one truck driver, who called into the show, told Dave & Dujanovic. “We earn the right to drive on those roads because we’re the ones who fund them.”

More to the story

If you missed Dave & Dujanovic’s conversation with Sen. Todd Weiler live on KSL Newsradio, you can still catch everything they had to say on their podcast.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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