Study Overview

The Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT) mission is to keep Utah moving while enhancing quality of life through transportation improvements in our state. UDOT is conducting an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to improve regional and local mobility on US-40 from SR-32 to US-189 and provide opportunities for non-motorized transportation while allowing Heber City to meet its vision for the historic town center.

Project Update

UDOT evaluated the 17 preliminary alternatives initially presented to the public and six new alternatives suggested by the public during the comment period held last fall in a three-level screening process. Preliminary screening focused on technical feasibility, Level 1 screening focused on the purpose and need of the project, and Level 2 screening focused on initial impacts to key resources.

Based on an evaluation of 23 alternatives, five alternatives on the west side passed the screening process and will be carried forward for detailed evaluation in the Draft EIS. The evaluation process is documented in the Draft Alternative Development and Screening Report.

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Study Area

The Heber Valley Corridor EIS project team will be working with the stakeholders to evaluate improvements to address and enhance mobility through the Heber Valley and improve the operation of Heber City Main Street (US-40).

Through this process UDOT will develop transportation alternatives that could include a variety of solutions including reconfiguration of Main Street, improvements to other area roads, constructing new roads, and other options identified by the public.

Current Phase

UDOT evaluated the 17 preliminary alternatives initially presented to the public and six new alternatives suggested by the public during the Oct. 5 – Nov. 4, 2021 comment period in a three-level screening process. Preliminary screening focused on technical feasibility, Level 1 screening focused on the purpose and need of the project (improving regional and local mobility through 2050 while allowing Heber City to meet their vision for the historic town center), and Level 2 screening focused on initial impacts to key resources. Based on an evaluation of 23 alternatives, five alternatives passed the screening process and will be carried forward for detailed evaluation in the Draft EIS.

All three eastern bypass alternatives were eliminated in Level 1 screening because they would not improve local mobility on US-40. All of the east alternatives would result in several failing intersections and arterial segments (LOS F) on Main Street, long travel times, and long vehicle queue lengths. These alternatives fail because they do not divert enough traffic away from Main Street. This is mainly because  there is more traffic on the west side (Provo–Orem area on US-189) compared to the east (Daniel’s Canyon on US-40 heading southeast).

All US-40 alternatives were eliminated in preliminary or Level 1 screening for either not being technically feasible or reasonable, failing to improve local mobility on US-40 through 2050 or not allowing Heber City to meet its vision for the historic town center.

Seven alternatives on the west side were eliminated in Level 1 screening because they would not improve local or regional mobility. Five alternatives on the west side are being advanced for detailed analysis in the Draft EIS. These five alternatives are being renamed in an effort to make them more descriptive. The new names highlight the differences between alternatives with respect to facility type and alignment location. The following five alternatives passed screening, the names shown in bold are the names carried forward into the Draft EIS:

  • West Bypass Limited Access (WA1) is now Freeway with North US-40 (WA1)
  • West Bypass Parkway (WB1) is now Highway with North US-40 (WB1)
  • West Bypass Parkway with Realigned US-189 (WB2) is now Highway with North US-40 and Realigned US-189 (WB2)
  • West Bypass Parkway with Northern Extension (WB3) is now Highway to SR-32 (WB3)
  • West Bypass Parkway with Northern Extension and Realigned US-189 (WB4) is now Highway to SR-32 and Realigned US-189 (WB4)

These alternatives will be further developed with refined engineering to support detailed analysis in the Draft EIS. The engineering refinement phase will include additional design work to provide details such as horizontal and vertical alignments, right-of-way needs, intersection design, pedestrian and bicycle accommodations, access design, and potential drainage designs including stormwater management.

Following the development of this additional level of detail, the study team will evaluate the alternatives against a range of environmental and social impacts, with the aim of selecting a preferred alternative. The Draft EIS will include a detailed evaluation of these five alternatives–including impacts to land use/open space, communities/neighborhoods, residential and commercial properties, air quality, water resources and water quality, wildlife and special status species, visual setting, cultural resources, etc.

For more detailed information and the opportunity to focus on impacts in specific areas, UDOT has developed two online dashboards that summarize the screening results and initial impacts analysis for Level 1 and Level 2 screening. 

A public comment period for the Draft Alternatives Development and Screening Report was held from June 7 to July 2022, 2022. The project team will review all questions and comments submitted throughout the public comment period and group these according to commonly asked subjects. A frequently asked questions guide will be developed to address those subjects and posted on this website.

In addition to making the report and various educational materials available on the study website, UDOT presented the results of the screening process at city and county council meetings and to the stakeholder working group. Those meetings are posted in the Meetings section of this website.

Current And Upcoming Activities

Study Process and Timeline

The anticipated project timeline outlines the phases to accomplish development of the Heber Valley Corridor EIS. Ongoing engagement with the public will take place during the estimated time periods to keep the community informed during the EIS.

Submit Comment

Comments provided to the project team will be reviewed and considered by UDOT as it develops the project. All comments received will be documented in the project record. The study team will contact you if they need additional information or clarification.

Comments provided during the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to UDOT are a matter of public record and subject to public release, if requested. For more information, see the Terms of Use at the bottom of the Utah.gov website.

Comments that are publicly displayed through online tools must follow our UDOT Social Media Policy Participant Code of Conduct. Comments that are unacceptable under that policy may be removed at the administrator’s discretion.

If you receive an error when trying to submit a comment, please refresh your browser.

Frequently Asked Questions

Environmental Impact statement

  • UDOT conducts planning studies early in the project development process to help determine if there is a need to progress a project into the environmental stage.  It also helps UDOT identify potential issues to better understand a project before moving it forward. 
  • One purpose of planning studies is to preserve corridors in rapidly-developing areas. However, corridor preservation does not predetermine the outcome of the EIS process but does allow local jurisdictions some level of future planning.
  • In addition, the preliminary study helped UDOT build stakeholder relationships and learn stakeholder needs.
  • Conducting a planning study also allowed UDOT to clearly identify a need for further environmental study and inform that study of key issues and recommendations. 
  • An EIS is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for actions that could significantly affect the quality of the natural and human environments when there is a federal action (e.g., federal funding, federal permit or approval).
  • Other studies, such as a  corridor study, may identify a potential corridor or route for consideration and planning purposes. An EIS provides in-depth analysis of impacts to the natural and human environments for a range of alternatives. The EIS identifies a preferred alternative based on a comparison of potential benefits and associated impacts of each alternative evaluated in detail. 
  • In addition, an EIS provides decision-makers with the necessary information to make an informed decision on the anticipated benefits and impacts of the action.
  • UDOT is the project sponsor and the lead agency on the EIS, responsible for things such as:
    • Managing the process and resolving issues.
    • Identifying and involving cooperating and participating agencies.
    • Providing opportunities for public involvement in defining the purpose of and need for the project.
    • Determining the range of alternatives and determining methodologies and the level of detail for the analysis of alternatives.
  • As the lead agency, UDOT is responsible for the decision on the preferred alternative and whether to move forward with an action.
  • UDOT has assumed the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) responsibilities under NEPA. The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by UDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated January 17, 2017, and executed by FHWA and UDOT.
  • Part of the process is engaging with cooperating and participating agencies, stakeholders and the public. UDOT will be engaging with all those groups in various ways.
    • A cooperating agency is an agency or tribe, other than a lead agency, that has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved in a proposed project or project alternative. A state or local agency of similar qualifications may, by agreement with the lead agency, become a cooperating agency.
    • A participating agency is a federal, state, tribal, regional, or local government agency that might have an interest in the project. 
    • Key stakeholders are audiences that are integral to achieving the study’s objectives and goals. The range of stakeholders may be expanded as the study develops. 
  • Air quality
  • Residential and commercial property impacts 
  • Economic development
  • Hazardous materials
  • Historic structures
  • Land use
  • Noise
  • Potential construction impacts
  • Social (e.g., emergency services, neighborhood unity and community character)
  • Wildlife and threatened and endangered species
  • Wetlands
  • Safety
  • Bicycle and pedestrian access
  • Business and residential access
  • Complex utility relocations
  • Economic development plans
  • Regional mobility
  • Regional growth
  • School walking routes
  • Transit
  • Travel delay and congestion
  • Freight movement
  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process requires that UDOT evaluate a reasonable range of alternatives and provide an opportunity for public input on those alternatives.
    • For example, UDOT received numerous comments that a bypass should be extended farther to the north to account for planned development and growth on north US-40 and that a bypass that ties into US-40 at 800 North is not a long-term solution because of that planned growth. 
    • UDOT is required to consider these comments, regardless of support or opposition.
  • The range of alternatives under consideration allows an examination of the impacts and tradeoffs of improving regional mobility by upgrading north US-40 on its existing alignment,  providing a new connection, and comparing those alternatives against not making any improvements.
    • Only by evaluating the full range of alternatives can UDOT make an informed decision that will result in the best solution overall.
    • Ignoring potential alternatives or dismissing them prematurely would not result in a full examination of impacts and tradeoffs and would leave the process open to legal risk.
  • The screening process determines which alternatives will move forward for detailed evaluation and, at this stage, UDOT will eliminate alternatives only based on screening criteria that identify them as clearly not reasonable. Reasonable alternatives are those that are technically and economically feasible, rather than simply desirable.
    • Level 1 screening criteria evaluate how well an alternative meets the project purpose.
    • Level 2 screening criteria evaluate impacts to key resources including wetlands.
  • Alternatives that pass through screening will be evaluated in detail in the Draft EIS.
    • The Draft EIS analysis is when detailed impacts to open space, visual impacts, water quality, wildlife, community impacts, and so on, will be evaluated. The results of this detailed evaluation will inform UDOT’s selection of a preferred alternative.
    • UDOT can’t eliminate alternatives for impacts to these resources during screening because the analysis has not been done yet.

Public Involvement

  • The EIS project team encourages public involvement throughout each phase of the study and will consider public input in developing the EIS as well as to support the decision-making process. 
  • This EIS will feature a robust public process, including formal public comment periods, public meetings, solicitation of public input, email updates and notifications, and project information shared on social media channels and the project website.
  • Preferred alternatives are not determined based on the amount of positive or negative comments received.
    • Commenting is not a vote on an alternative or action, but a way for the public to provide the project team with information for consideration in the NEPA decision-making process.
    • Decisions will be made by following the process, utilizing best available data including public input.
  • Comments received outside of the Draft EIS formal comment period will be documented in the project record but will not be formally responded to or included in the Final EIS.
    • Only responses to comments made during the Draft EIS formal comment period will be included in the Final EIS. 
  • Social media discussions are not part of the official EIS record, but they provide insightful information and help the team make the most informed transportation decisions for the Heber Valley study area.
  • Outside of the formal NEPA public comment periods, the EIS team will update the public on the current status of the project and provide notice when new information will be available. 
  • Preferred alternatives are not determined based on the amount of positive or negative comments received. 
    • Commenting is not a vote on an alternative or action but a way for the public to provide the project team with information for consideration in the NEPA decision-making process.
    • Decisions will be made by following the process, utilizing best available data including public input.
  • Comments received outside of the Draft EIS formal comment period will be documented in the project record but will not be formally responded to or included in the Final EIS. 
    • Only responses to comments made during the Draft EIS formal comment period will be included in the Final EIS. 
  • Social media discussions are not part of the official EIS record, but they provide insightful information and help the team make the most informed transportation decisions for the Heber Valley study area.
  • As the EIS progresses, the project team will update the public on the current status of the project and provide notice when new information will be available.

Contact Us

For more information on the environmental study underway in the Heber Valley and to share your ideas, please contact the project team through one of the ways listed below.

Email Us

hebervalleyeis@utah.gov

Phone

801-210-0498

Facebook

Join the group

Write Us A Letter

Heber Valley Corridor EIS
c/o HDR
2825 E Cottonwood Parkway # 200
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being or have been carried-out by UDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated May 26, 2022, and executed by FHWA and UDOT.