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Bangerter Highway to Transform into Freeway

Apr 08, 2016 10:40AM ● Published by Tori La Rue

By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals

West Jordan - The Utah Department of Transportation plans to convert all of Bangerter Highway’s intersections into freeway-style interchanges, and four of those intersections will likely be started in the 2017 construction year.

“We have experienced growth across the state and the southwest part of valley. The population should nearly double soon, and we need to plan ahead and plan for that growth,” John Gleason, spokesman for UDOT, said.  “Bangerter Highway has become a highly traveled road that we want to function in an efficient way to additional traffic.” 

Construction on Bangerter Highway at 600 West in Draper has already started, and the department is conducting studies now to see how freeway-style interchanges would affect Bangerter’s intersections at 5400 South, 7000 South, 9000 South and 114000 South, according to the UDOT website. The plan is to begin construction at these sites at the start of construction season in 2017, Gleason said. 

The four intersections will be patterned after the Bangerter Highway interchanges at 7800 South and at Redwood Road. They will likely take one year to complete, and the department will work on them simultaneously so they can “get in and get the job done,” Gleason said. 

“There’s short-term headaches with any construction, but the long-term payoff is great,” he said. “It’s such an important corridor that we need traffic to continue moving.” 

Chase Tripp, of South Jordan, said she’s not happy about the construction. She said she takes Bangerter Highway every day to work, and she thinks traffic already runs smoothly. She said the freer-flowing traffic after the interchanges are installed might not be worth the slow traffic during the construction time.

Holley Robinson, of Taylorsville, said she’ll be avoiding Bangerter Highway for a year, but she believes that the interchanges are an excellent idea. She said she hopes the department looks into all options before doing all of them at the same time. 

“It seems like they could potentially bite off more than they can chew, and that’s potentially dangerous because the more construction and rerouting of traffic may cause more accidents,” she said. 

In the fall of 2014, several car crashes, one of them fatal, occurred at the construction site of the Bangerter Highway and Redwood Road interchange, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. People who took that route commented on how confusing the intersection was during construction, according to a news report by Fox 13. UDOT evaluated the intersections and made changes, according to both reports. 

“On all of our projects, safety is the number-one priority and consideration,” Gleason said. 

He said safety is one of the things the department is looking at now during the study phase of the project. 

The projected cost of the four intersections is nearly $196 million, with the 5400 South intersection at $60.2 million, 7000 South at $41.1 million, 9000 South at $49.2 million and 114000 South at $45.4 million, according to the department. 

When the four are completed, seven of the corridor’s intersections will have freeway-style interchanges, and the other 11 intersections will be converted “as funding allows,” according to UDOT documents. The projected cost of the entire corridor, 18 interchanges, is about $830 million. 

Residents can offer their feedback by emailing bangerter@utah.gov or by calling the project hotline at (888) 766-7623. 

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