Letter to the Editor: We don't matter anymore
I am becoming more and more convinced that what We The People have to say doesn't really matter anymore.
On a national level, the current administration does pretty much what they want to do, with the blessing of a do nothing Congress (torture is now okay). Our liberties as citizens are trampled on by those in charge in the name of "the war on terror".
On a local level, most of the people in charge of the Helper interchange highway project are so intent on getting the job done that the safety of the people now using the highway and the people living in the vicinity of the project has seemingly become secondary.
I became concerned for the safety of everyone (including myself) when they, on Oct. 11, closed the exit from the highway onto Main Street across from Martin Road. My concern arose from the fact that there was insufficient warning signage south of this closure to advise motorists that they would have to exit at the Main Street crossing at Swift Stop and Shop to get to west Helper, Workmen's Market, North Frontage Road, etc.
My concern prompted me to make some phone calls to officials of W.W. Clyde (project contractor) and UDOT to ask questions and make suggestions on possible changes in the situation that may prevent traffic accidents.
My call to W.W. Clyde was answered by a nice young lady named Connie who gave me local phone numbers of UDOT officials (at my request) and then put a supervior on the phone to field my comments and questions. I expressed my concerns and his response was "what do you want me to do, cancel the whole project?" I thought this was a very unprofessional response to a citizen's concerns.
I then called the local UDOT office and spoke to an official there. He had pretty much the same unprofessional attitude to my concerns as the guy at W.W. Clyde had and did not want to hear any suggestions. This man is the state appointed project manager of this major alteration to a vital road through our town and does not care about our concerns.
My third call was to Dale Stapley, UDOT local permit issuer. Mr. Stapley was cordial and listened to my concerns and suggestions and said that he would send a safety person and an engineer to look at the situation immediately. Mr. Stapley was the only one of the three I spoke to who seemed concerned and interested about the safety of the project, and one (of many) suggestions I made to him was actually implemented the same day (October 12).
If you have concerns about the way this project is being handled, make some calls to the officials in charge and let them know. You may save your own life or the life of someone you know or love.