UDOT to start acquiring homes along freeway project

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WEST VALLEY CITY -- Nearly 100 homes will have to be torn down to make way for a new freeway along Salt Lake Valley’s west side and Wednesday the reality is setting in for many homeowners as they met with Utah Department of Transportation officials face-to-face.

The meeting was at Hunter High School where dozens of residents arrived, some upset wondering why they have to move from their homes in a few months despite the project being years away.

“It is sad to leave home, especially for people who have lived in them for a long time,” says resident Bryant Parker.

Homeowners must make way for the Mountain View Corridor. The new freeway will run along 5800 West in West Valley City. On that stretch, from 3500 to 4700 South, homes are slated be torn down. UDOT hopes to buy all the houses by June 2013.

The state has budgeted $30 million to buy more than 90 homes.

The residents at the round table discussions Wednesday night are learning how that process will unfold.

“That process includes how we work our way through appraising the property and how we relocate the property owner,” said project director Teri Newell.

The state will pay relocation costs plus fair market value for the home, but in the current economy, that is a loss for many of these residents.

“Losing 25 percent of my money, losing $40,000, that’s tough,” said West Valley homeowner J. Burton.

Others viewed it as a fresh start.

“It’s good for my family, my kids. We need to start a new life, especially because I had a divorce and I have a lot of memories there, said resident Blanca Serna.

The discussions are divided up based on neighborhoods. There is a total of three meetings. The last one is Thursday night.

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