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The City Journals

Little Cottonwood and Wasatch Unite

May 02, 2017 10:37AM ● By Cassie Goff

UDOT will spearhead a project on Wasatch Boulevard in Cottonwood Heights. (UDOT)

By Cassie Goff [email protected]
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has some major construction projects planned for the next few years. A handful of these projects will directly impact the city of Cottonwood Heights and its residents, with one project planned for this year that will take place entirely within the city.
Assistant Region II Director for UDOT Lisa Wilson visited the Cottonwood Heights city council meeting on March 28 to discuss the UDOT projects along the Wasatch Front. She brought Region II Project Manager Peter Tang along to discuss the project specifically within the city, which will be a major road redevelopment on Wasatch Boulevard.  
A high-T intersection will be constructed on Wasatch Boulevard, where the boulevard splits into Wasatch Boulevard and Little Cottonwood Road. Road construction will also involve Sutton Way and Danish Road.
In UDOT’s plans, these roads have slightly different titles. Wasatch Boulevard is split briefly before the intersection. The road that continues on to become Little Cottonwood Road is designated as SR-210. The continuing Wasatch Boulevard, which veers slightly right at the intersection, goes past La Caille and eventually intersects Little Cottonwood Road further south, is referenced as FA-2074.
Some of the city council members asked if that was the area of the La Caille turnoff. Tang nodded and laughed as he realized that was how the area was commonly recognized for residents.
“The sign for La Caille has been illegally placed there for all these years. It goes against right of way for the intersection. Based on the regulations, there should be a 640-foot buffer — unless you are a billboard warranted to be there,” Tang said.
The high-T intersection was originally considered because “the angle of the two roads currently is not ideal,” Tang said. “We want to realign it.”
One of the main problems the construction will solve is excessive speeding through the intersection, as the right turn heading south does not currently require a stop.
“Danish Road and Sutton Way are so close to that main intersection, cars coming down that road could be flying and creating a dangerous intersection,” Tang said.
Additionally, the road area available for cars turning onto Sutton Way is very short. After construction is complete, there will be a designated turnoff for Sutton Way, as well as Danish Road. “We are shifting to give them some parking space,” Tang said.
The high-T intersection will look a little different from what commuters are used to.
“The new intersection will square up with SR-210, with two-way turn lanes,” Tang said.
“Northbound traffic will not need to stop for the signal light. Having continuous flow there will be important,” Tang added.
The council voiced a concern about communication to the residents within that area. 
“We went to each of the residents to talk to them personally. Some of the Sutton Way residents have been informed and they are highly focused,” Tang said. “We will also be sending out postcards to 700 homes in the area and positing legal notice about this project in the ‘Salt Lake Tribune’ and ‘Desert News’.”
Councilman Tee Tyler asked when they anticipated construction to be completed, hoping it would be before the start of ski season.
“Everything will be done before the end of October,” Tang replied.
 Public Works Director Matt Shipp made a proposition to the council. UDOT will be “removing the old asphalt and taking it back to native soil” after they have completed constructing the new intersection.  
Since that small, specific plot of land will be untouched, Shipp inquired about city use. “There will be opportunities in there for the city to develop a gateway into Cottonwood.” 
“It’s been great to work with Matt Shipp and Brad Gilson; collaborating the concepts with all the needs of the city so we can come to a concept that all parties will be happy to see,” Tang said.