Intersection design for Layton road will ease congestion, UDOT says

Posted at 10:19 PM, Apr 07, 2014

DRAPER -- The traffic may be flowing along 12300 South in Draper today, but business has slowed at the spots alongside it.

"Right from day one I was down probably 25 percent,” said Alan Summerhays, owner of Guadalahonkys.

According to Summerhays, motorists used to pull into his Mexican restaurant all day, but a traffic solution from the Utah Department of Transportation in 2011 created a problem for him.

"That brings three less turns that they can get into my properties,” said Summerhays.

The ThrU Turn, as it’s called, stopped drivers from turning left at the main intersection into his restaurant, and instead made them do a U-turn about 400 feet down the road, before making a right into their destination.

"If I was a business man, I’d get to my landlord as quick as possible and renegotiate my lease and head on down the road because, it's going to hurt, Summerhays said.”

But the design works, according to UDOT officials, who now want to try it at Hill Field Road in Layton.

“Congestion in the area is bad, and it's getting worse,” said Patrick Cowley, Project Manager for UDOT Region 1. “And the main problem is the intersections are so close together.”

They plan to put two ThrU Turns where Hill Field Road intersects at Main and Gordon Avenues. According to their research, in a side by side comparison, the move will save drivers 2-3 minutes on the road on a daily basis.

"People are waiting four cycles through the light in order to get to where they need to go, just in that little area,” said Kent Andersen, Layton city’s economic development specialist.

Andersen believes the project will help businesses, not hurt them, by bringing more drivers through the area to stop for shopping, rather than traffic.

“I mean, anecdotally, I know people that are avoiding this area just because they don't want to get bogged down in the traffic,” Andersen said. “So, this will hopefully encourage business shoppers to frequent the area because now traffic is going to be moving quicker.”

Construction on the project is expected to begin in July.