FARMINGTON — After more than a decade of study and preparation, the Utah Department of Transportation has started construction on the West Davis Corridor.
Last week at various locations, crews started preliminary clearing work and removal of some of the vegetation that lies in the path of what will eventually be a 16-mile stretch of new highway. While UDOT officials say there will be some noise and dust impacts associated with the current work, the lift going on right now is relatively light. But it’s a precursor to something very substantial.
West Davis Project Manager Rex Harris said mainline construction will start shortly after the calendar officially flips to spring.
“Toward the end of April, people will start noticing the big trucks coming through,” he said. “Work is going to start at the south going north. But by the summer, there’s going to be activity on most of the corridor.”
The $750 million project involves a four-lane divided highway that will be built through western Davis County between the Interstate 15 and Legacy Parkway junction at about Glovers Lane in Farmington, extending north to the future extension of State Route 193 in West Point.
Grade-separated interchanges will be built at the Legacy/I-15 junction and 950 North in Farmington, at 200 North in Kaysville, 2700 West in Layton and at 2000 West and Antelope Drive in Syracuse. The new alternative to I-15 will also include over 10 miles of new trail and trail connections to create a consolidated trail system connecting Emigration Trail to the Legacy Parkway Trail.
UDOT Region One Communication Manager Zach Whitney said Farmington Bay Constructors was selected to design and build the new highway. A joint venture of Ames Construction, Wadsworth Brothers Construction, and Staker Parson Materials and Construction, the conglomerate was selected from a short list of three teams, Whitney said. The contract with Farmington Bay and the state requires construction of the road be finished by fall 2024, but Harris said it could happen before then.
Unlike most of the construction work that takes place on existing state roads, Harris said impacts to the traveling public will be relatively small during construction of the WDC. There will be some impact on I-15 where the highway connects to it and at some cross streets along the the route, Harris said, but UDOT will work to notify the public well in advance.
Harris said UDOT owns about 95% of the land needed for construction and other needed right-of-way acquisitions are being processed.
“With a 16-mile road, there are a lot of properties that need to be bought,” Harris said, adding that the state doesn’t expect any issues with the remaining parcels needed for the road.
UDOT began an $8 million federal Environmental Impact Study on the project in 2010. Since then, the state has held countless public meetings and worked to refine the project to its current iteration. That environmental process included analysis all the way to 1800 North in West Point, which means a future extension to that point only requires some funding to be appropriated by the state Legislature.
The state’s long-range plan has the road extending further into West Haven and Hooper, and possibly as far north as Box Elder County, ultimately connecting back to I-15. But Harris said that would take another lengthy environmental review process and the ability to secure what figures to be large amounts of funding.
Harris said after a decade of preparation and work with just about every organization that might have a stake in the project, a consensus was formed that the road is necessary.
According to a UDOT technical memorandum, the total daily delays will be reduced on all roads in the West Davis study area (from I-15 to the Great Salt Lake and from Parrish Lane in Centerville to 3000 South in Hooper/West Haven) by 32.2% in 2040, compared to what the delays would be then if the road wasn’t built. The distance people will drive in congestion will decrease by 31.0% on north-south roads and by 51.6% on east-west roads, according to the memo.