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UDOT blames bad drivers for months-long closure of Bangerter Highway 6200 S intersection

Posted at 9:59 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 11:49:10-04

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — A huge change is coming to the Bangerter Highway 6200 South intersection, and UDOT says the change is born out of bad driving and too many crashes in the construction zone.

Starting as early as Monday, the stop lights will disappear, and the intersection will close to east-west through traffic.

It's an intersection where crews are in the midst of building an overpass, and where numerous construction signs and orange barrels guide drivers through the site.

Most don't stop long enough to see the other signs just off the road, that signal what else is happening at that intersection.

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"It's a lot of broken up cars, and a lot of damage," said Taylorsville Police Chief Brady Cottam.

Large pieces of a crushed car taillight sit right near the 6200 S eastbound turn lane. Next to that, is a pile of shattered glass.

His department has noticed the problems way too often lately.

"We have a lot of red-light violations in some of the crashes, quite a few of the crashes that we've had," he said. One crash was serious enough, that Chief Cottam said a man was hospitalized for weeks.

UDOT has been paying attention to just how many crashes Taylorsville Police responded to.

"25 crashes since July 3rd," John Gleason with UDOT said. "That's nearly a crash every other day, and it’s just completely unacceptable."

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Gleason said they made the construction work zone safe to all standards. But drivers won't obey the lower speed limits, or the red lights.

"That's a bad combo," Gleason said. "And so, we’re going to eliminate that conflict point. We’re going to take out that stoplight right there, and make it so that people cannot pass through."

Anyone driving on 6200 South east or west will need to find another route around the closure, Gleason indicated, if they need to cross the Bangerter intersection. They can still make a right turn onto Bangerter Highway.

Those driving north and south on Bangerter Highway will be able to breeze right through and won't have to stop at a stop light. They can also turn right onto 6200 South.

Gleason explained that they'll keep the changes in place until November.

It may be a dramatic change, but Gleason explained they needed to make it to keep people safe.

"This is an extraordinary measure here that we're taking because of these reckless driving behaviors that we’re seeing, that are resulting in crashes," Gleason said. "And that’s the important thing-- we’re asking people to really put down the distractions, slow down in the work zone, and really pay attention."