Federal fundscould helpUtah roads

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    WHITNEY A. SMIT

    With a steadily growing population in the Orem area causing increased traffic problems, help may be on the way. On election day Orem residents approved a proposal to widen several areas of road as well as improve the face of eleven busy city intersections.

    The bond election, which had a healthy 60 percent voter turnout, will raise taxes on $100,000 homes in Orem by $2.78 per month over the next ten years to facilitate the improvement costs.

    The proposal to improve Orem’s streets was spearheaded by a concerned citizen group who recognized that changes needed to be made. The Citizen’s Road Bond Committee was comprised of five Orem residents who made their concerns known in a neighbor to neighbor information campaign that included a public mailing to over 33,000 Orem citizens.

    Lisa Deason, a member of the citizen committee and the Orem City Planning Commission, said that driving with greater ease in Orem will now be possible.

    “Roads are graded throughout the city on a scale of A through F … right now the roads which will be improved are at an F scale and we will be upgrading them to a C, this means they will be incredibly efficient,” Deason said.

    Deason said that grade A roads are technically rural roads that very few people drive on.

    The specific improvements will include the widening of 1300 South between State Street and 800 East and the widening of 800 East between 1300 South and 800 South. Eleven intersections will also be widened with new turn lanes and left turn signals installed.

    With a two-to-one approval of the bond issue, most citizens are happy with the potential for improvement, but not everyone feels the same way.

    One angry Orem citizen, Hans Andersen Jr., said he felt the improvements were a tax ploy to stimulate more retail growth in the 1300 South area.

    “This won’t help decrease traffic in Orem it will increase traffic,” Andersen said. “The 1300 South area comprises less than 1 percent of Orem’s population … this bond will benefit Provo citizens more than Orem citizens and Orem will pay for it.”

    Andersen also said that 80 percent of the total project funds will be used to extend the Carterville road into Provo, bought and paid for by the City of Orem.

    The cost of the improvement and repair project will total $10.6 million and is expected to be complete in three years.

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