FARMINGTON — The state’s pending reconstruction of U.S. 89 has been approved for another major funding infusion.
The Utah Department of Transportation will transfer $9.5 million from its West Davis Corridor project to the reconstruction of U.S. 89.
UDOT Project Manager Randy Jefferies said the transfer was spurred by a plan to take surplus material from the U.S. 89 project and use it for the West Davis road.
In 2019, the transportation department announced that the rebuilt highway would pass under nearby cross streets instead of over them. The change in design came after public feedback the state received during the project’s State Environmental Study and from input from the project’s design builder, Oak Hills Constructors.
Jefferies said building the road underneath the cross streets will require extensive excavation and removal of dirt from beneath the highway. Meanwhile, Jefferies said, the West Davis Corridor will need dirt as it’s built.
Ivan Hartle, UDOT’s director of financial programming, said it’s estimated that the West Davis project will require about 4 million yards of dirt to be imported to the construction site, while the current design for the U.S. 89 project calls for 785,000 yards of dirt to be removed and hauled off. Hartle said recycling material from U.S. 89 would save the state from having to buy new fill and at a significantly higher rate. UDOT estimates the move will save the West Davis project the $9.5 million being transferred to U.S. 89.
As part of the U.S. 89 project, the road will be widened 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. UDOT will also build two overpasses, crossing over Nicholls Road in Fruit Heights and Crestwood Road in Kaysville. The plan also includes new side roads, pedestrian bridges, a multi-use trail and bicycle improvements.
UDOT says the nearly 100-year-old highway is currently operating at failing conditions and by 2040, the department figures average daily traffic there will increase by 40 percent.
Safety is also a factor in the reconstruction, as the number of crashes on the road have been rising with congestion. The state’s environmental study says heavy traffic and signalized intersections cause sudden speed changes, making dangerous conditions for vehicles entering the road from cross-streets, especially for those making left-hand turns.
In March 2019, the Utah Transportation Commission approved a $200 million funding infusion for the project. The project today is valued at over $480 million. Construction is slated to start later this year.
The West Davis Corridor job is scheduled to start in 2021. The new road will begin in Farmington, connecting with Interstate 15 and the Legacy Parkway at Glovers Lane before terminating at 1800 North in West Point. The new freeway alternative will connect to existing state highways and city streets through six new interchanges.