LAYTON — The Gentile Street bridge across Interstate 15 has reopened after three months of construction.
And so, after nearly a year of at least one freeway-spanning bridge being closed due to the state’s ongoing I-15 Express Lanes project, all east-west routes are clear for commuters in Layton.
But roadwork in Davis County’s largest city is far from over.
Zach Whitney, senior communications manager with the Utah Department of Transportation, said the Gentile bridge opened Friday, Sept. 18, after crews finished a reconstruction, along with several other improvements there. Whitney said the work, which started in late June, included completely removing and replacing the bridge’s driving surface and adding new sidewalks and lighting to the new structure.
The bridge reconstruction was part of the $175 million Express Lanes project, which will extend the state’s carpool lane on I-15 from Layton Parkway to Riverdale Road. Whitney said the project will help increase mobility and reduce congestion along I-15. Additional improvements include new bridges at 200 South in Clearfield and Church Street in Layton (which was closed from October 2019 to June 2020), wider bridges and deck replacements at five other locations, new ramp meters at four locations, improved freeway ramps at 5600 South in Roy and at Riverdale Road, and concrete replacement from Hill Field Road in Layton to I-84 in Weber County.
Once it’s done, Utah’s Express Lanes system will extend 80 miles, running continuously from Utah County to Weber County. UDOT officials have said the completed project will make Utah’s Express Lane the longest uninterrupted system in the United States.
Construction began in May 2019 and is scheduled to be complete in fall 2021, Whitney said.
Layton Mayor Joy Petro celebrated the full reopening of Gentile Street — one of Davis County’s longest east-west corridors, running from U.S. 89 near the Wasatch Mountains, all the way west into Syracuse near Farmington Bay. In a weekly Facebook video update to citizens, Petro said the city will have a full road construction slate for the next several years.
While the $175 million Express Lanes project should be finished a year from now, UDOT is also knee-deep in the $490 million reconstruction of U.S. 89.
Crews are widening the increasingly congested highway from four lanes to six, between Farmington and S.R. 193 in Layton. Signalized cross-street intersections will be eliminated and new interchanges added at 200 North in Kaysville, 400 North in Fruit Heights, and at Oak Hills Drive, Gordon Avenue and Antelope Drive in Layton.
The state will also build two overpasses, crossing over Nicholls Road in Fruit Heights and Crestwood Road in Kaysville. The plan also includes new side roads, pedestrian bridges, a multi-use trail and bicycle improvements. According to UDOT’s environmental study on the project, the nearly 100-year-old highway is currently operating at failing conditions and by 2040, the department figures average daily traffic there will increase by 40%.
UDOT public information officer John Gleason said the U.S. 89 project is scheduled to be finished sometime in 2023.
While work on I-15 and U.S. 89 progresses, an even larger project through Layton is set to begin next year.
In spring 2021, UDOT will begin construction on the West Davis Corridor — a 19-mile, four-lane divided highway through western Davis County. The first phase of construction will connect to Interstate 15 and the Legacy Parkway at Glovers Lane in Farmington, extending northwest to 1800 North in West Point. UDOT’s long-range plan calls to extend the highway into West Haven and Hooper, ultimately connecting back to I-15, though that portion has not been funded.
According to UDOT’s website, the project is now valued at $800 million.
“Basically, UDOT is going to be investing about $1.4 billion into projects in which Layton City has three-quarters of,” Petro said. “I know this is a pain to kind of put up with construction, but in the long run we all benefit from it.”