UDOT updates plans for Southbound I-15, 7200 South improvements
Mar 07, 2018 11:36AM
● By Ruth Hendricks
Map of the Southbound I-15/7200 South project. (udot.utah.gov)
Construction is scheduled to begin this spring on the Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT) southbound I-15 and 7200 South improvement project.
Lisa Zundel, UDOT project manager, gave an update to the Midvale City Council on Feb. 6 about the status of the plans to reduce delays along southbound I-15 from 2100 South to 12300 South, and along 7200 South near the I-15 exit. Zundel said that a lane would be added along 7200 South starting near the Top Golf entrance.
The southbound project will include the following improvements: adding a lane to southbound I-15 between S.R. 201 (2100 South) and 12300 South, widening 7200 South to three lanes in each direction from I-15 to Bingham Junction Boulevard in Midvale, and modifying the I-15 interchange at I-215 to improve traffic flow. The project has a value of $180 million.
A final environmental study was completed in the spring of 2017. The initial design phase was going on during the winter and spring of 2017. The design/build contract was awarded in December.
Zundel had said last March that the design/build process has been used by UDOT many times with great success. The design/build process is a contracting method where the design and construction are combined into one contract that is awarded to a single design/build team.
In addition to expediting construction projects, Zundel said, “Design/build is a good idea because we can get the proposals out to the community, and we can benefit from innovative design ideas and construction methods that are out there.”
Having a single point of responsibility for both the design and the building of a project can reduce risks and overall costs.
Zundel described the benefit of the construction by looking at estimates of afternoon commute times along I-15 in 2024. “The traffic delay without the project would be five minutes. With the project, delay will be 40 seconds.”
During construction, “there will be some weekend closures of I-15 at the 7200 South entrance, along with some pedestrian rerouting,” said Zundel. UDOT staff have been meeting with businesses in the area to support them in coping with the closures. They encourage workers to visit UDOT’s TravelWise website which is a resource to find alternate ways to travel, including carpooling, riding transit, walking and biking.
Estimated completion is this fall for the I-15 portion of the project from 7800 South to 12300 South. The I-15/I-215 interchange is planned to be complete in the early fall of 2019, and the 7200 South project is also due that fall.
Improvements are planned for I-15 northbound as well, but that is a separate project that is in the scoping process now. A public open house for that project was held on Jan. 30, 2018 to receive input related to transportation needs and environmental concerns within the study area. Comments were accepted through February 13.
This spring a range of alternatives for the northbound project will be considered that meet the transportation needs. The potential social, economic and environmental impacts will be examined and summarized in a draft environmental assessment this summer. The public will have an opportunity to review this environmental assessment during a 30-day comment period. The environmental assessment will be finalized in the fall.
Details of the southbound project are available at UDOT’s website, udot.utah.gov/i15southbound. Information about the northbound environmental study are also available at udot.utah.gov/i15northbound.