FARMINGTON — In terms of ongoing road work, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Utah city busier with construction than Farmington.
And officials from the state department of transportation say is about to get even busier.
The Utah Department of Transportation is in the middle of its $490 million reconstruction of U.S. 89, with crews widening the increasingly congested highway from four lanes to six, between Farmington and S.R. 193 in Layton. While that project is set to wrap up sometime in 2023, the state has also begun utility relocation work to prepare for the $800 million West Davis Corridor — a new 19-mile, four-lane divided highway through western Davis County. That project is slated to start next year.
Meanwhile, officials say another $47 million, major infrastructure project can be added to the list.
UDOT Program Manager Nathan Peterson said the state plans build a new Interstate 15 interchange at Shepard Lane in Farmington, which will also eventually connect to the WDC. Peterson said design work on the proposed interchange set to begin later this year and UDOT plans to coordinate construction to finish at the same time as the corridor.
John Gleason, UDOT public information officer, said the state is currently working to select the contractor that will build the WDC and is now relocating portions of the Layton Canal, which will need to be shifted to make way for the highway. The project, in earnest, is expected to begin in spring 2021, with UDOT aiming to finish it by 2023.
While the corridor offers a new north-south commuting option, the proposed Shepard Lane interchange, with an accompanying connector road, would give motorists another option to access the busy section of west Farmington that includes the Station Park retail complex and a future 250-acre business park. Without the interchange and the arterial road connecting the freeway to the corridor, officials say traffic near the Park Lane I-15 interchange would likely become congested to the point of failure.
According to UDOT traffic statistics, an average of 37,000 cars passed through the Park Lane and U.S. 89 intersection every day during 2017.
With population of roughly 24,000, Farmington is comparable in size to a city like North Ogden and doesn't even crack the top five in most-populated Davis County cities. But despite this, Peterson said Farmington is essentially the epicenter of traffic in Northern Utah.
"We have mainline I-15 going through the city, we have Legacy Highway and U.S. 89 all converging in one location — now we're going to add some more infrastructure to that area," he said. "It's also geographically pinned with the lake on the west and the mountains on the east, so we have a lot of infrastructure in a really small area. It poses some very unique challenges."