SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation has released a list of its top 10 construction projects for this year.
According to UDOT, the projects are chosen according to regional significance, level of community interest and the benefit to Utahns.
“For us to make sure that the health services are provided throughout this state, that the food that people need and rely on are available, we need to have a functioning transportation system 24/7 in this state,” UDOT executive director Carlos Braceras said.
The top 10 construction projects are:
1. U.S. 89 Farmington to I-84 — Davis and Weber counties, $489 million: Crews are converting a 9.5-mile section of U.S. 89 to a freeway by widening the road to three lanes in each direction; replacing existing intersections with new interchanges (with on- and off-ramps) at 200 North/400 North, Oak Hills Drive, Gordon Avenue, and Antelope Drive; and adding new underpasses at Nicholls Road and Crestwood Road. The project is also building a new three-mile extension of Gordon Avenue, and extending and connecting frontage roads on both sides of U.S. 89. Construction began in February and is scheduled for completion in 2023.
2. Bangerter Highway Three Interchanges — Salt Lake County, $222 million: UDOT will replace existing intersections with freeway-style interchanges along Bangerter Highway at three new locations: 6200 South in Taylorsville, 10400 South in South Jordan, and 12600 South in Riverton. This is a continuation of UDOT’s multi-year effort to upgrade Bangerter Highway. Construction is expected to start this spring and continue through late 2021.
3. I-15 Northbound — Salt Lake County, $163 million: Crews are adding a new collector/distributor ramp system (similar to the ones from 900 South to 2100 South in Salt Lake City) on northbound I-15 from 9400 South to I-215. The project also includes a new northbound travel lane from Bangerter Highway to 9400 South. Work began in spring 2019 and is scheduled to be completed later this year.
4. Midvalley Highway — Tooele County, $70 million: UDOT is building a new highway to improve access to I-80 in the Tooele Valley. Crews are working now to build the new road, which will run from S.R. 138 to I-80, connecting to the interstate via a new interchange located about three miles west of the S.R. 36 junction. Future phases of the highway potentially include additional lanes, and an extension farther south near Tooele. Construction on the project started in fall 2019 and is scheduled to be complete in 2021.
5. I-15 Express Lanes — Davis and Weber counties, $169 million: Crews are widening I-15 to four lanes in both directions by adding Express Lanes between Hill Field Road and Riverdale Road. Express Lanes – or high-occupancy/toll lanes – are designed to encourage carpooling and help freeway traffic flow more smoothly. Vehicles with a single occupant can also use these lanes by paying a toll, and plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and alternative-fuel vehicles can use them for free with a Clean Vehicle Pass. Once complete, UDOT’s Express Lanes will be 80 miles long – the longest continuous Express Lanes in the country. Construction began in spring 2019 and continues through 2021.
6. Southern Parkway (S.R. 7) — Washington County, $75 million: UDOT is constructing the final segment of the Southern Parkway, which will extend from Sand Hollow to S.R. 9. Once this new section is complete, Southern Parkway will run 27 miles from I-15 south of St. George to S.R. 9 near Hurricane. Work began on the project in March, and is scheduled to finish in early 2021.
7. 5600 West S.R. 201 to I-80 — Salt Lake County, $83 million: Crews are widening 5600 West to five lanes, building a bridge over the railroad tracks at approximately 800 South, adding a new pedestrian trail and sidewalk along the road, and reconstructing the 5600 West/I-80 interchange. The project started in November 2019 and is expected to be complete in early 2021.
8. I-15 Juab County to Sevier River — Juab County, $15 million: UDOT will reconstruct seven miles of I-15 in rural Juab County south of Yuba Lake State Park. Crews will use a process called “crack and seat” to repave the interstate: a large machine breaks up the existing pavement, then it is compacted, and new asphalt will be placed on top. Work is scheduled to take place this summer.
9. U.S. 191 North Moab to Colorado River Bridge — Grand County, $31 million: Crews are widening U.S. 191 in north Moab, adding new travel lanes from 400 North to the S.R. 128 junction, along with a center turn lane for most of this section. This project also includes construction of a new sidewalk on the west side of U.S. 191 and a new storm water collection system. Work started in March and is scheduled for completion in 2021.
10. S.R. 201 to S.R. 36 Auxiliary Lane — Tooele County, $6 million: This project is designed to improve traffic flow between S.R. 201 and S.R. 36 in western Salt Lake and eastern Tooele counties by adding a new exit-only lane on westbound I-80. This will improve traffic flow by providing a much greater merge distance for drivers, whether they are entering the freeway from S.R. 201 or exiting at S.R. 36. Construction starts this summer.
There are more than 220 projects statewide with a combined investment cost of nearly $3.3 billion.
"In addition to these Top 10 projects, construction continues on a number of major projects across the state, such as the I-15 Technology Corridor in Lehi, the Mountain View Corridor extension in West Valley City, the I-15 Southbound project in Salt Lake County, and the U.S. 40 passing lane project in Wasatch County. Drivers should keep these projects in mind as lane restrictions and other traffic changes will continue for the next several months," a news release from UDOT said.
The hope is to keep the projects on time, despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, UDOT spokesman John Gleason said.
That being said, Gleason emphasized that safety of crews is the most important thing during this time. Crews follow CDC guidelines for safety and practice social distancing, he said.
“If someone tests positive or somebody exhibits symptoms, then we are going to have to shut those projects down and make accommodations there,” Gleason said.