OGDEN — With one of the highest population growth rates in the nation, much of Utah’s future expansion is expected in major cities along the Wasatch Front.
And while the Utah Department of Transportation has multiple large projects, current and future, aimed to address growth along the state’s most populated corridor, the agency is also keeping an eye on the periphery.
UDOT is currently working on the Statewide Rural Long-Range Transportation Plan. The plan provides a framework for decisions about future roadway improvements and funding allocations through 2050 in rural parts of the state. The LRP is also part of the state’s Unified Transportation Plan, which connects transportation projects across both the urban and rural parts of Utah.
As the state’s popularity as a recreation destination continues to increase, particularly at Utah’s five national parks, increased travel demand and congestion is headed for some of the state’s rural areas, according to LRP planning documents. Updated every four years, UDOT officials say the rural plan involves carefully considering context and vision for individual communities.
The plan identifies potential projects in three 10-year phases — with Phase 1 running from 2019 to 2030, Phase 2 from 2031 to 2040, and Phase 3 from 2041 2050. UDOT worked with partners, stakeholders and the public to identify projects in the plan. Groups outside of UDOT with an interest in the environment, the economy or individual communities were also involved.
Phase One of the plan includes nearly $80 million worth of work on Interstates 15 and 84 in rural Northern Utah areas.
The state wants to widen I-84 westbound near Rattlesnake pass in Snowville for $6.5 million. Eastbound I-84 would be widened in the same general area, which would include two new concrete bridges. That project is expected to cost $27.3 million. State Route 66 in Morgan would be widened to its intersection with I-84 for $9.8 million.
Meanwhile, Phase 1 of the plan calls for I-15 in Honeyville to be widened in both directions for more than $32 million.
Phase 2 of the plan calls for a $33 million reconstruction of State Route 39 as it traverses through the Ogden Canyon. The project would improve shoulders and install an “active transportation” component for cyclists and pedestrians. Another section of I-15 in Honeyville would be widened in Phase 2, costing $77 million.
The only significant Northern Utah project in Phase 3 involves a $66 million widening of State Route 167, also known as the Trappers Loop Highway, from I-84 to SR-39.
UDOT is expected to have the plan finalized sometime early this year.