Commuters, business owners glad to see South Davis Project on I-15 completed

Posted at 5:58 PM, Aug 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-21 19:58:31-04

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah -- There is good news for the tens of thousands of drivers traveling through Davis County: The I-15 South Davis Project is done.

Drivers have endured a year and a half of construction, and motorists and local businesses are happy to see the construction finally wrap up.

"We haven't seen a lot of our regulars in a while," said Lori Caldwell, an employee at Slim Olson's Convenience Store.

Business hasn't been the same for Slim Olson's since April of last year. That's when construction on the I-15 South Davis Project started, making the convenience store not so convenient for drivers.

"It has slowed business down, but now that it's over, it's peaking up and it's nice to have the community back here," Caldwell said.

Finally, the orange barrels are gone and drivers don't have to battle through construction.

"Business has picked up a lot since they finished it," Caldwell said.

Business is increasing as commuting time diminishes.

"What used to be two hours, I can probably do it in 45 minutes to get home at five o'clock--which is amazing," said Daniel Blan, who drives through Davis County each day.

Along with drivers, the Utah Department of Transportation and state leaders are celebrating the wrap-up of the project's last major milestone.

"What the public is going to see today is they're going to see a much improved commute out here," said Carlos Braceras, Executive Director for UDOT.

The $126 million project added an extra lane in each direction on the freeway, reconfigured two interchanges, built eight new bridges and provided a better place for pedestrians.

"What a great day to be able to move through a corridor and not have to sit in congestion and have the time away from families and work and from other things," said State Senator J. Stuart Adams, R-District 22.

The completion of the project fills the gap in express lanes between North Salt Lake and Farmington. The 26 miles of new express lanes makes the longest continuous HOV Lane in the country.

"It has been a long 18 months of delays, it looks great, it was worth the trouble," said State Senator Todd Weiler, R-District 23.

"It feels so good to deliver what you said you were going to deliver on time, on budget, and a project that is going to last for this community many years into the future," Braceras said.

UDOT is warning drivers to still keep an eye out for construction workers. Crews will be on site for the next few months to finish cleaning up and to make finishing touches.