NORTH OGDEN — Motorists in North Ogden can sigh a breath of relief, a partial one anyway.
The approaches to the busy 2600 North-Washington Boulevard intersection had been winnowed to one lane at times for construction, making for traffic snarls, long lines of cars and frustrated motorists. Late last week, though, crews finished the bulk of the road work at the intersection, which was expanded to accommodate more cars, largely opening it back up to traffic.
“We are mostly done,” Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Zach Whitney said. Crews finished paving last week and “will stripe within in the next couple of weeks. The plan is to be done by the end of the month.”
In related news, the North Ogden City Council has decided against an earlier proposal to completely close Pleasant View Drive where it meets 400 East, north of the 2600 North-Washington Boulevard intersection. Some who live in the area, even some residents of neighboring Pleasant View just to the west, had bristled at the proposal, meant to address motorist safety at the location.
Instead, the council approved a road scheme that will allow right turns from eastbound Pleasant View Drive motorists onto 400 East and right turns by southbound 400 East motorists onto Pleasant View Drive. No left turns from 400 East onto Pleasant View Drive or vice versa, the potentially problematic maneuvers, will be allowed.
“We’re going to give this a shot. As long as people follow the rules and they keep safe, we’ll continue with that solution,” North Ogden Mayor Neal Berube said. City leaders had proposed the complete closure of Pleasant View Drive just west of 400 East due to road grading issues that could create visibility issues for motorists. The closed road section, per that earlier plan, would have been incorporated into Bicentennial Park.
Those developments notwithstanding, motorists still aren’t completely home free.
Work on the widening of 400 East just north of 2700 North from three to five lanes — two travel lanes and a center turn lane — continues and will probably extend into October. The east half of the north-south roadway has been closed to traffic since March, with motorists, for now, relegated to the western side. 400 East is the extension of Washington Boulevard north of 2700 North and it’s to be widened up past Elberta Drive.
‘A LOT OF PATIENCE’The work on the 2600 North-Washington Boulevard road crossing entailed the addition of dedicated left-hand turn lanes to each approach, bolstering the number from one to two in each direction. Crews, though, had to winnow motorists traveling the varied directions to a single lane of traffic at times, causing backups. “That’s required a lot of patience from the citizens,” Berube said.
Though the roadway has reopened to autos, the work at the intersection isn’t completely done. Landscaping work remains, at least, and some orange and white barriers remained on the sides of the roads late last week. Still, while “finishing work” remains, “the heavy impactful construction is wrapping up,” Whitney said.
For now, Pleasant View Drive remains closed to traffic to accommodate work on 400 East, though it will reopen per the plan approved last week by the City Council when the project is complete. Pleasant View Drive has historically served as a key connector for Pleasant View residents heading to North Ogden and Ogden, and closing it at 400 East has altered the driving patterns of many. North Ogden residents who live west of 400 East also use the roadway.