FARMINGTON — Mainline construction on the state’s massive U.S. 89 reconstruction won’t start until later this year, but an abundance of necessary preparatory work figures to tie up nearby local roads.
Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Vic Saunders said the state is beginning utility work in advance of the main U.S. 89 project in order to streamline construction. Saunders said there are 35 different utility owners on or next to the highway and the project team will relocate over 150 miles of utilities ahead of regular roadway construction.
Saunders said motorists can expect shoulder or lane closures on the frontage roads and side streets near U.S. 89. There likely won’t be traffic impacts to U.S. 89 until later in the spring.
The reconstruction of U.S. 89 was initially scheduled to start in 2019, but was delayed in part by a lawsuit. In April 2018, a grassroots group called “Residents’ Voices United on 89” filed the suit in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake County, asking the court to rule UDOT’s State Environmental Study on the project invalid and thereby halting construction on the project until another environmental review, conducted under National Environmental Policy Act requirements.
The lawsuit has since been resolved and UDOT plans to move forward with the project, though design refinements are still being made, and construction is expected to begin some time this year.
The project will rebuild the highway along a 9-mile stretch between Farmington and Interstate 84 in South Weber, transforming U.S. 89 into a six-lane freeway-type road. Work will include widening the road from four lanes to six, with signalized cross-street intersections 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.