Thursday , June 08, 2017 - 10:45 AM2 comments
CLEARFIELD — The freeway interchange at State Road 193 in Clearfield is not only clogged by congestion, it’s becoming increasingly dangerous.
But the Utah Department of Transportation says a fix is on the way.
In mid-July, UDOT will start a project to rearrange the heavily used freeway junction, work the state says will improve traffic flow, shorten wait times at connected intersections and improve safety.
Like many other Northern Utah roads, growth has outstripped carrying capacity at the interchange. According traffic data provided by the state, average daily traffic there increased by more than 10,000 vehicles between 2013 and 2015.
The state’s latest traffic data shows that 122,025 cars pass through the interchange on an average weekday. In 2005, the number was just 105,270.
During afternoon rush hour, traffic is known to back up on the interchange and spill onto the freeway, creating a safety hazard for vehicles cruising along Interstate 15. The backup at the interchange also creates subsequent congestion at nearby intersections on S.R. 193.
UDOT says as bad as the congestion is now, if the interchange is left in its current configuration, traffic in the area will become gridlocked in less than a decade.
So the $3.4 million redesign will join on- and off-ramps for northbound I-15 to the same stop light, add a second lane for all left-turning vehicles heading north on I-15 and add another new lane to all single lane freeway ramps, creating more space for vehicles exiting the freeway and improving traffic flow.
UDOT says average wait times at the intersections near the interchange will be cut by 50 to 75 percent.
Spokesman Vic Saunders said the 1000 East frontage road along the east side of I-15 will be permanently reduced to one-way, northbound movements only in an effort to maximize the overall efficiency of the new interchange.
Vehicles moving southbound past Hill Field Elementary will reach a “turn around” that will allow them to go back the other way. They will be shuttled to 200 South and go west to State Street, then south to 700 South or north to 650 North to access I-15.
Saunders said the redesign is an “interim project” to improve the safety and efficiency of the interchange until future funding is available for a major rebuild.
The project is slated to begin in mid-July and will take the remainder of 2017 to complete.
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