Council Approves Full Closure of 7000 South
Oct 07, 2016 01:50PM
● By Tori LaRue
The Utah Department of Transportation is planning to construct a freeway-style interchange, like this one, at the Bangerter and 7000 South intersection. (Tori La Rue/City Journals).
By Tori La Rue | firstname.lastname@example.org
The West Jordan City Council approved a full closure of 7000 South at the Bangerter Highway intersection for up to 60 days beginning in fall 2017.
UDOT brought three options for the last phases of their construction that will convert the 7000 South/Bangerter intersection into a freeway-style interchange. Option A was a full closure of 7000 South for up to 60 days, and options B and C were partial closures that could stretch three to six additional weeks.
“I know that, at least for me, option A is much better issue, though the seven of us are going to take the heat for the closure, not UDOT,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said.
Option A would only allow right turns onto and off of 7000 South, increasing travel time by up to seven minutes and emergency response time by approximately three minutes for the area east of Bangerter. It would also reduce the duration of the construction and increase safety for workers because they’d be working fewer night shifts. In addition, it would minimize costs and coincide with the city’s 7000 South closure for their water line project to the east.
In a 5–1 vote, at the Sept. 7 council meeting, the city council instructed UDOT to move forward with Option A. Councilmember Zach Jacob dissented, not because he disagreed with the council’s opinion but because he said he wanted to seek feedback from residents through a public hearing first.
Foursquare Properties, Owners of Jordan Landing shopping center that borders the intersection, said they’d prefer the construction finishes before the holiday shopping season, according to city staff, but staff said they hadn’t heard anything from residents about the three options.
Option B would have closed all left turns, added a detour of up to four minutes and maintained the most capacity through the intersection during the construction. Option C would have closed the northbound and southbound left turn, added a detour of up to five minutes and maintained all movements on 7000 South. Both B and C would likely take about 120 days with completion slated for November 2017 and would have required a two-week full closure.
Councilmember Chris McConnehey said he thought Option A would be best because with its completion slated for October, it would limit construction during snowfall. McConnehey cited crashes that occurred during the 7800 South Bangerter interchange conversion as a safety hazard and a reason to condense congestion and construction time on the similar project at 7000 South.
“I think [A] will be the safest because it limits what people can do, and it limits the amount of time that we are under construction with the 24/7 workforce,” he said. “I would prefer to bite the bullet, even if we are the ones who take the heat. I am fine taking the heat if we can say this is going to get this done quicker and get you back to your normal life.”
The 7000 South and Bangerter Highway construction is part of UDOT’s overarching plan to convert Bangerter Highway into a freeway by changing all its intersections into interchanges. At the same time, 5400 South, 7000 South, 9000 South and 114000 South will undergo construction.
To learn more about the changes that await Bangerter Highway, visit http://www.udot.utah.gov/bangerter/.