Centerville • A month ago, the City Council gave the green light to a street widening project at the Main Street and Parrish Lane intersection that would remove a 9½-foot-wide swath from the front yards of four historic homes.
The silver lining was that the council had reduced the amount of property to be removed from 11½ feet. But Tuesday, the council voted to put the 2 feet back in, based on an assessment by the Utah Department of Transportation that lanes had to be wider to be safe.
The 3-2 vote Tuesday was a repeat of the Sept. 4 vote, with Councilmen Lawrence Wright and Ken Averett dissenting.
Under the plan, the road will be widened to accommodate northbound and eastbound double left-turn lanes. The amount of property that was to be removed from the front yards of homes built in the late 1800s originally was slated at 17 feet, but UDOT reduced that to 11½ feet.
Many Centerville residents still opposed the plan and about 1,000 signed a petition asking the council not to impede on the homeowners' private property. City administrators say the project will have long-term benefits by improving traffic flow.
Several residents spoke at Tuesday's meeting in objection to UDOT's plan.
The council approved the scope of the project last month on the condition that the width be reduced to 9½ feet, which narrowed the receiving lanes to 13 feet in width.
UDOT then did some studies and determined that when a bus or a large truck was in the outside turn lane, there was a danger that it would hit the vehicle next to it in the other turn lane because its back wheels do not track right behind the front wheels. UDOT project manager Brett Slater told the council that the lanes needed to be 14 feet wide.
Tuesday's vote adds the additional foot to each lane, which will come from property on the east side of Main Street.
The project is designed to help ease the traffic flow in the area and decrease idling emissions as drivers wait to turn.
It is being funded with $1.2 million in federal funds, $350,000 from the state and $87,000 from Centerville taxpayers.