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US 89, West Davis Corridor work to heat up as summer approaches

By Tim Vandenack - | May 24, 2022
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This photo from April 25, 2022, shows the West Davis Corridor grade in Kaysville and Farmington near what will be the 950 North interchange.
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This May 5, 2022, photo shows U.S. 89 under construction near Layton.
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This May 5, 2022, photo shows U.S. 89 under construction near Layton.
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This April 25, 2022, photo shows the West Davis Corridor at the Interstate 15/Legacy Parkway interchange in Farmington.
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This April 25, 2022, photo shows the West Davis Corridor grade at 2700 South in Syracuse.
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This May 5, 2022, photo shows a bridge being built at Antelope Drive over U.S. 89 in Layton.

As if the work on the U.S. 89 upgrade through Davis County and construction of the West Davis Corridor hasn’t been intense enough, expect an uptick this summer.

“Work has been ongoing throughout the fall, winter and spring, but obviously when there’s no snow on the ground and temperatures are warm, we can do more,” said Mitch Shaw, spokesperson for the Utah Department of Transportation.

The U.S. 89 upgrade on the eastern side of Davis County between Farmington and state Route 193 in Layton might be particularly apparent to the public given the high traffic flow on the roadway, which has continued even as the widening project has progressed. But the West Davis Corridor work further west is also having an impact on motorists, and UDOT officials warn the public that closures and detours on some of the roads around the corridor are in the offing going forward into the fall.

Both are major projects, the largest currently in the UDOT portfolio in dollar terms. The West Davis Corridor project, which calls for construction of a new 16-mile, four-lane highway from Interstate 15 in Farmington north to West Point, has a price tag of $750 million. It’s to finish in 2024.

The U.S. 89 project, which calls for widening of the roadway from two to three lanes each direction between Farmington and Layton and installation of four new interchanges, has a price tag of $527 million. The new interchanges will allow removal of five sets of traffic signals, keeping traffic moving on the increasingly busy north-south arterial, which extends into Weber County.

The current focus of the U.S. 89 project is construction of the new interchange at Antelope Drive and installation of two new bridges, one over Crestwood Road, another over Nicholls Road. That crossing and the two bridges are to be completed by this fall.

Meantime, the work will require lane closures along U.S. 89 in the impacted sections, “but we will keep traffic flowing and try to do much of the work at night and during off-peak hours,” Shaw said.

The project is nearly 70% complete and should be finished by late 2023, Shaw said. The interchanges with the east-west roads bisecting U.S. 89 should be open by the end of this year.

Travel along the U.S. 89 construction zone can be harrowing at times with all the construction equipment, lane shifts, barriers and more. Shaw notes that many of the traffic lights along the section have been removed, creating less stop-and-go traffic.

“We haven’t seen any significant uptick in crashes, but we are worried about people speeding through the construction zone,” he said. The speed limit in the work zone is 55 mph, he said, “and it’s not safe for people to drive faster than that.”

‘VERY IMPACTFUL’

Work on the West Davis Corridor project heading into the summer will be occurring all along the roadway corridor, from the Centerville/Farmington area to West Point. Bridge work is moving ahead at several locations, notably at 700 South and 2700 South in Syracuse and along the frontage road east of Interstate 15 in Farmington, Shaw said.

The varied elements of the work are prompting closures of a number of residential streets adjacent to the project area:

  • Utility work on Bluff Street in Syracuse will close portions of the roadway for several months, through the fall.
  • Over the summer, state Route 193 will close between 2000 West and 3000 West in the Syracuse/West Point area near the northern endpoint of the project for paving and utility work. That’s to last around six weeks.
  • In Farmington, 650 West is closed south of Glovers Lane to allow relocation of utilities, with motorists detoured to 800 West.

No sections of the new West Davis Corridor have yet been paved, but it is visibly taking shape, Shaw said. It’s meant to be a major north-south arterial to the Salt Lake City area and will eventually extend further north into Weber County, serving as a relief valve, of sorts, to traffic on I-15.

At the same time, the work has inconvenienced some who live nearby at times — inevitable, perhaps, given the large scale of the project.

“We know the project is very impactful, but we try to keep people apprised when they are going to be impacted directly and we try to mitigate those impacts whenever we can,” Shaw said.

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