NORTH OGDEN — Ongoing road improvements to 400 East are impacting more than just North Ogden residents.
The closure of Pleasant View Drive where it meets 400 East, temporary for now but maybe a permanent change once ongoing road improvements in the area are complete, has also drawn attention from residents of neighboring Pleasant View. 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 — the extension of Washington Boulevard north of 2600 North — has altered the driving patterns of many.
“It’s ruffled some feathers,” said Leonard Call, the Pleasant View mayor. In fact, several Pleasant View leaders and residents spoke out at a North Ogden City Council meeting last February to decry the Pleasant View Drive plans and ask that North Ogden leaders reconsider.
North Ogden Mayor Neal Berube said the closure of Pleasant View Drive at 400 East has been contemplated since 2015, when the change was first outlined in the city’s general plan, which charts North Ogden’s long-range development. One of the big issues at the intersection is motorist safety.
“The left turns and other traffic movements (at the intersection) can be risky because of grades and other obstructions, which can impact a clear view of vehicles approaching the intersection,” said Jon Call, the North Ogden city attorney.
What’s more, North Ogden City Council members, at least informally, have expressed support for plans to close Pleasant View Drive, Berube said. The road travels northwesterly from 400 East to Pleasant View, ultimately connecting with U.S. 89.
Still, Berube isn’t closing the door on the possibility of keeping Pleasant View Drive open in some shape or form when officials ultimately sort through the issue. A public hearing would have to be held on the road closure plans, among other steps. “I think until things are finalized there’s always room for discussion,” Berube said.
Likewise, Leonard Call holds out hope for some sort of compromise solution. He’d like Pleasant View Drive to remain open at 400 East, even if just to right-turn traffic, a potentially less dangerous maneuver than turning left. “They still haven’t made the decision. They haven’t held the public hearing,” the Pleasant View mayor said.
As part of a major upgrade at North Ogden’s major crossroads, 400 East is being widened north of 2600 North from three to five lanes to accommodate growing traffic. At the same time, the four approaches to the Washington Boulevard-2600 North intersection, North Ogden’s busiest, are being widened, also to handle growing vehicle flow.
The work started late last February, and Jon Call said that as soon as 400 East north of 2600 North was narrowed to give workers space to widen the road, issues with the 400 East-Pleasant View Drive intersection emerged. Northbound motorists waiting to turn left from 400 East onto Pleasant View Drive caused major backups behind them. That led to Pleasant View Drive’s closure at the location.
Now the plan is to maintain the closure until the work along 400 East and at the Washington Boulevard-2600 North intersection is done, probably in October. Orange and white road construction barriers currently block access to Pleasant View Drive, which abuts Bicentennial Park. Once work is done, the intersection would be opened, at least temporarily, allowing right-hand turns from 400 East onto Pleasant View Drive and right-hand turns from Pleasant View Drive onto 400 East. No left-hand turns would be allowed from either roadway.
Eventually, though, the Utah Department of Transportation, partnering with North Ogden in the project, is to install a traffic signal at the 300 East-2600 North intersection, enabling safer vehicle movement at the location. Then, at least per the tentative plan, Pleasant View Drive would be permanently closed at 400 East. With the new signal, 300 East, which sits just west of 400 East, would serve as a conduit for Pleasant View Drive traffic from the Pleasant View area to 2600 North and Washington Boulevard.
Traffic safety is the key consideration for Berube. “What we’re trying to do is create a safer situation,” he said.
If Pleasant View Drive is closed for good where it meets 400 East, North Ogden City Council members have mulled the possibility of converting part of what is now roadway to green area for Bicentennial Park, according to Jon Call. The park abuts the south side of Pleasant View Drive where it meets 400 East.