Get Gephardt Investigates: Neighborhood says road expansion could be hazardous

Get Gephardt Investigates: Neighborhood says road expansion could be hazardous (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Hundreds of cars a day travel University Parkway in Provo - so many, in fact, UDOT has decided to widen the busy road.

Angie Potter's family has owned a home that sits below a curve in the road for 17 years. In that time, she says cars have left the road and run down a grade into the neighborhood’s backyards.

It's something she and her neighbors say they’re afraid they'll see more of as UDOT adds lanes and encroaches even more towards their homes.

“If [my kids] can't play in the backyard and I don't feel safe inside my house from the cars in the back of it, there's no sense in living there,” she said.

They neighborhood reached out to UDOT and Angie says they were promised a concrete safety barrier would be installed to make sure cars wouldn’t fly off speeding around the bend. That promise was rescinded.

Andy Neff is the public involvement coordinator for the project. It was he who had originally stated in an email that a safety barrier would be installed. He says he misspoke. A safety wall was never part of the plan for the road expansion.

“I was new on the project, so that's my fault,” he said.

That said, Neff and UDOT decided to perform an environmental study to assess the noise impacts the road will have on the neighborhood. That study shows the road meets state and federal guidelines for a noise wall.

“By default, the noise barrier will serve as somewhat of a safety barrier even though it's not intended to be a safety barrier,” Neff said.

It's good news for Angie. She says once the wall is built, she'll consider letting her kids play in their backyard once again.

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