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Lehi and Saratoga Springs at odds over future of Pioneer Crossing



Nobody would dispute that traffic in Lehi’s west side is a significant issue and getting worse by the day, but what to do about it is stirring contention between Lehi and Saratoga Springs.

In a presentation earlier this year, Lehi City Mayor Mark Johnson told the City Council that Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG) and the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) were moving forward with a plan to convert Pioneer Crossing into a freeway. In that meeting, Mayor Johnson presented alternative options that Lehi City prefers and asserted the desire not to allow Pioneer Crossing to become a freeway. 

“We’re talking about a significant number of residential properties and new commercial properties affected,” said Johnson in the January meeting. UDOT’s freeway plan estimates a loss of approximately 90 homes and 12 commercial businesses. 

On Tuesday night, the Saratoga Springs City Council began supporting UDOT’s Pioneer Crossing freeway option on their city transportation plan with the Saratoga Springs agenda item: “Resolution Formally Initiating Proceedings to Update the Transportation Master Plan to Include the New Cross Section for the Pioneer Crossing Freeway.”

Saratoga Springs Mayor Jim Miller began the public hearing portion of the meeting by clarifying that the agenda item was not a binding decision or actionable item but an initiation of the public discussion part of the planning process. 

The meeting’s public comment period was filled with Lehi residents and business owners who were opposed to the Pioneer Crossing freeway option because it would directly affect their homes or commercial properties.

“We would be heavily impacted by the proposed change. I urge caution. The Master Plan was created for people to decide and plan where to place businesses and homes. It’s really unfair to significantly change that after the fact,” said Alpine Pediatrics owner Bryce Carter. 


“We love where we live. Our neighborhood is filled with incredible people. I’m the face of someone who will be greatly impacted. There are options to place the freeway in other places. My family would be greatly affected by this decision,” pleaded Sarah Larsen.

“I’ve been in my home 12 years. When my home was built, we understood Pioneer Crossing would have the possibility of a third lane, which was understandable. The fact that UDOT has now come through and said they are planning to expand the road enough to take not only my backyard but also my home of 12 years is absolutely disgusting,” said Ciara Slider, who lives along the proposed expanded Pioneer Crossing area. 

Lehi resident Jeremy Baker urged the Saratoga Springs City Council to postpone their agenda item and work with Lehi City. 

“I would encourage that this be tabled and not considered. It should be worked on with Lehi City. There is a proposal that Lehi prefers that would have a Northshore freeway that connects to Pony Express Parkway and gets it out of residential areas,” said Baker. 

At that time, Saratoga Springs Mayor Miller closed public comments and said, “I appreciate the residents coming to share their concerns about Pioneer Crossing. Having been born and raised in Lehi with most of my family still living there, I’m very familiar with the area. Tonight’s motion was just to open the discussion you’re asking for; to have the research done. Tonight is not approving anything. Tonight is to open the public process of government and open for discussion.”

“With the three road options, the road option on the lake, Saratoga is just not a fan of it. It wipes out a marina and destroys a shoreline that is very beautiful and rare to have in Utah, but there are other options,” concluded Miller. 

Multiple attempts to reach the Saratoga Springs Public Information Officer were unsuccessful.

Lehi’s Communications Manager, Jeanteil Livingston, provided the following statement, “Lehi is not currently involved and does not have any information regarding the Saratoga Springs agenda. We were just informed of this.”


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