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UDOT hopes new highway near Tooele will ease traffic problems

Posted at 10:41 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-26 00:41:21-04

LAKE POINT, Utah -- People who commute between the Tooele and Salt Lake Valleys are set to see relief from the traffic they sit in by Lake Point every evening.

One of the Utah Department of Transportation's newest projects will give them another way to get home, on a whole new highway.

Lake Point is usually a point of frustration for commuters.

"About this time of night, it can be really backed up -- especially if there's any type of an accident," driver Bill Bennett said.

He works in Magna and lives in Lake Point. On a good night, he said the drive is around a half an hour. On a bad night -- it's at least double that.

"It's pretty stop and go," said driver Tonya Murdock, who works in West Valley and also lives in Lake Point. "I've spent, I don't know, anywhere up to an hour and a half sitting there in traffic."

The Tooele Valley is growing, and there's only one main way in and out-- the interchange at Lake Point and I-80.

That's why UDOT is planning to build what they're calling the Midvalley Highway.

UDOT will construct a new interchange at I-80 about three miles west of Lake Point.

The Midvalley Highway will extend from that new interchange, south four miles to the intersection of SR 138 and Sheep Lane in between Stansbury Park and Grantsville.

"This new Midvalley Highway will give another option for people living in Grantsville and Tooele to get to the interstate," said UDOT communications manager Zach Whitney.

Eventually, Whitney said the Midvalley Highway could connect I-80 down to the south end of Tooele.

It's a nice thought for drivers like Murdock and Bennett.

"I wish projects would go faster," Murdock said, with a laugh. "But don't we all."

Still, they're happy the first phase is just weeks from kicking off.

Whitney said Phase 1 of the Midvalley Highway is expected to be complete in 2021. He said they don't have a timeline beyond that for the rest of the highway.