On Wednesday, the Utah Department of Transportation announced its 2019 top 10 construction projects for Utah. The I-15 Tech Corridor in Lehi is No. 4 on the list, the only one in Utah County.
Jason Davis, UDOT’s deputy director over engineering and operations, said the biggest concern with the tech corridor construction project continues to be people driving too fast.
“We would ask the drivers as they travel through there to be very attentive and to not be distracted and to slow down,” he said. “We’re still having people way in excess of 80 miles per hour driving through there.”
Davis said, because of construction, the lanes in the corridor shift almost daily and if people aren’t paying attention, it can lead to crashes.
“We don’t want our drivers hurt and we don’t want our workers hurt,” Davis said.
The tech corridor is in its second year of construction and is set to be completed in late 2020. The end result will be widening Interstate 15 between State Route 92 and Main Street in Lehi to six lanes in both directions, as well as reconstructing the interchanges at SR 92 and 2100 North.
The project costs $415 million. The majority of those funds comes from the Transportation Improvement Fund, which utilizes taxes off of automobile purchases and was set up by the Legislature, Davis said.
Davis said not to expect any road closures during the construction this summer. The contractor on the project has promised to keep as many lanes open as possible at a time.
The other top 10 projects for Utah include:
- Extending Mountain View Corridor in Salt Lake County, including walking and biking trails, and adding 13 new highway bridges and six new pedestrian bridges.
- Widening I-15 express lanes in Davis and Weber counties.
- Adding a new collector/distributor ramp system to northbound I-15 from 9400 South to Interstate 215 in Salt Lake County and adding a new northbound travel lane to Bangerter Highway.
- Adding a new southbound travel lane on I-15 from State Route 201 to 12300 South in Salt Lake County.
- Extending the westbound passing lane on U.S. Highway 40 near Strawberry Reservoir and adding a wildlife crossing in Wasatch County.
- Replacing bridges on State Route 36 and Interstate 80 in Tooele County.
- Building the final segment of Southern Parkway from Sand Hollow to State Route 9 in Washington County.
- Rebuilding the I-15 interchange at SR 9 in Washington County.
- Replacing bridge joints at several locations in Salt Lake County.
These are just 10 of 169 projects UDOT said will be ongoing throughout Utah in 2019. Those other projects include general maintenance such as repaving roads. A UDOT representative said the department has a motto of, “good roads cost less,” which is why the department puts a lot of resources towards maintaining and preserving what roads already exist.
Another important focus of UDOT, however, is creating better connectivity and giving people more transportation options — including walking and biking.
“It’s not just about expanding I-15, it’s about making connections,” Davis said. “It’s about connecting the local roads and the businesses and providing other transportation alternatives ... all those types of things have to happen in order for us to move people.”
These choices are important for more than just the environment — “We can’t build our way out of congestion,” Davis said.
Geoff Dupaix, the Region 3 communications manager overseeing Utah, Wasatch, Juab and Daggett counties and the Uintah Basin for UDOT, said there’s even a bike/pedestrian lane in the works that will connect Utah County to Salt Lake County, although that’s very far off for now.
Dupaix also emailed the Daily Herald a list of Utah County’s top construction projects for the year. The Mountain View Corridor project made the Utah County list, because UDOT is building a frontage road system to connect 2100 North in Lehi to State Route 73 in Saratoga Springs. The project will also include a 10-foot-wide trail along the west frontage road, a 6-foot-wide sidewalk along the east frontage road and a new trail underpass at the 2100 North and Redwood Road intersection. Construction on that project began in August and is expected to be completed in the late summer of this year.
Saratoga Springs are likely already familiar with the UDOT project that is widening Redwood Road to five lanes from Grandview Boulevard to Village Parkway, a project also completed to be finished late this summer.
Provo residents are familiar with UDOT projects along 500 West and Bulldog Boulevard. These projects include upgrading aging utility and signal infrastructure, replacing failing asphalt and adding on-street bicycle lanes to improve safety for all modes of traffic. The 500 West project is expected to be completed in August 2020, while Bulldog Boulevard is supposed to be complete this fall.
UDOT is also reaching Spanish Fork, widening a one-mile section of State Route 198 to include an additional travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane, a multi-use trail along the east side of the road, improved drainage and a new traffic signal at the Woodland Hills Drive intersection.
UDOT also has two separate pavement preservation projects that will begin later this year along Geneva Road and are expected to be completed in the late summer and early fall. The tenth and final project in Utah County Dupaix listed was the resurfacing of a five-mile segment of U.S. Highway 89, from Boys Ranch to Birdseye, a project which should be done in a little over a month, from May to June.