UDOT considers interchange for base, Falcon Hill

Jul 12 2011 - 11:39pm

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CLINTON -- Although the decision is still a few years away, the state is considering a new interchange on Interstate 15 that would lead in to Hill Air Force Base.

The Utah Department of Transportation is conducting an environmental impact study on 1800 North in Clinton and Sunset.

The study, expected to be complete sometime in 2013, will consider alternatives to improving 1800 North while weighing environmental impacts pertaining to historic properties, traffic noise, community economics and air quality.

Part of the study includes building a new freeway interchange on 1800 North that would serve both Clinton and Sunset to the west and Hill Air Force Base to the east.

In theory, the interchange would be used by many to access the base's Falcon Hill development.

The $1.5 billion development encompasses 550 acres on Hill's west side and will include 8 million square feet of new office space, restaurants, hotels and retail space.

Construction on the project began this spring. When complete, base and transportation officials say, traffic in the area is likely to increase exponentially.

"Part of the environmental study is looking at the new interchange," said UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders.

"But we are still only studying it at this point. Before that could happen, a lot of things need to play out."

The U.S. Army Defense Generator and Rail Center, on Hill's west side near the freeway, performs repair and overhauls on locomotives used by the Department of Defense and will likely be affected if a new interchange is built.

To facilitate better traffic flow as railroad activity and local population increase in the area, UDOT also is considering an overpass at the Union Pacific Railroad and Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner crossing on 1800 North.

The Wasatch Front Regional Council has identified a widening project on 1800 North, as well as a new interchange, on its 2040 Transportation Improvement Plan.

UDOT recently built the Layton Parkway interchange only a few miles south of where the proposed 1800 North interchange would be.

The Layton interchange was completed in December at a cost of $97 million.

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