A few ‘extras’ are tucked into the highway bond bill

Road ConstructionThe $1 billion road bond proposal is supposed to fund projects already determined by UDOT, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few other projects tucked into the bill.

SB277 sets aside $19 million three particular ventures under the Transportation Infrastructure Loan Fund, to make sure they’re funded. They are:

  • $10M for improvements to US 40
  • $5 million for highway construction in Davis County
  • $4M for pedestrian access and a rail station at an “institution of higher education.” While that school is not named in the legislation, it’s the University of Utah.

Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, explains the money for those projects will be issued as loans which will be repaid.

The bonds for the $1 billion will be issued over 4 years. Lawmakers reason that borrowing for the road projects will grow the economy which will boost funding for education.

Harper doesn’t want to think of these additions to the bill as pet projects, but he does acknowledge that’s the impression they give.

“I really didn’t want to do that, but brighter minds than mine prevailed,” he laughed.

The Senate passed the bond bill unanimously on Monday evening. The House must take final action on the bonding proposal by the end of the day on Tuesday.