U.S. 89 rendering

This Utah Department of Transportation rendering shows U.S. 89 passing underneath Oak Hills Drive in Layton. 

LAYTON — The Utah Department of Transportation is gearing up for a $470 million reconstruction of U.S. 89, hoping to get the ever-changing project started in the next year-and-a-half.

So for the next several months, the state will be doing preparatory work on the highway in northern Davis County and the southernmost portion of Weber County.

The project on U.S. 89 will widen the highway from four lanes to six, between Farmington and Interstate 84, 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.

At Nicholls Road in Fruit Heights and Crestwood Road in Kaysville, US-89 will pass under those streets. The plan also includes new side roads, pedestrian bridges, a multi-use trail and bicycle improvements.

UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said surveying, right of way work, tree removal and the salvage and demolition of vacant UDOT-owned properties in select areas is ongoing.

The state has been preparing for some form of reconstruction on the highway for more than 20 years and much of the land in the path construction is already owned by the state. UDOT completed an Environmental Impact Study on the road in 1996 and has been slowly purchasing property in the area since then.

Last year, UDOT finalized three property acquisitions along U.S. 89 in Layton, which totaled about $800,000. The purchases were the last the state made under its willing-seller/willing-buyer corridor preservation program, before moving to the conventional acquisition process, which includes eminent domain.

Today, UDOT owns dozens of properties along the corridor where the widening will take place.

The project has been changed and expanded since it was first announced four years ago.

In March, UDOT announced it would seek to add some $200 million to the project, allowing for a series of design changes that were identified during the state’s environmental study. As part of the changes, U.S. 89 will now cross underneath the local streets and not over the top of them.

In October, the Utah Transportation Commission approved a deal that allowed UDOT to abandon a planned $2 million Interstate 84 bridge deck replacement project in Uintah, and transfer the money to U.S. 89. The money will be used to rehabilitate two bridges over the Weber River on U.S. 89, approximately 0.2 miles south of the original project boundary.

Saunders said there hasn’t been a firm date set for construction and said details are still being worked out with a potential contractor. UDOT’s website states the project is slated to start in April 2021.

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