LAYTON — There’s a good news/bad news scenario happening this weekend for commuters in Layton.
The good news: After being closed for several months, the Utah Department of Transportation is set to reopen the city’s Church Street bridge on Saturday.
The bad news: While Church Street comes back online, the state will close the Gentile Street bridge on the same day, for at least the next two months.
UDOT spokesman John Gleason said the Gentile bridge will be widened and its roadway surface will be replaced. He said drivers must use Main Street and the Layton Parkway to cross Interstate 15 while the bridge is shut down.
The original Church Street bridge was built in the 1960s and due for replacement. Gleason said the new bridge is now wider and designed to accommodate the widening of the freeway below.
The work on both bridges is part of UDOT’s ongoing Express Lanes project.
The $175 million project will extend the state’s Express Lanes system from the Layton Parkway to Riverdale Road. UDOT Project manager Brett Slater said the project will improve traffic flow and reduce delays along the freeway, while updating aging infrastructure on local streets.
As part of the project, the I-15 bridge over 200 South in Clearfield will also be rebuilt, the interchanges at 5600 South in Roy and at Riverdale Road will be redesigned, and concrete panels on the freeway from Hill Field Road to I-84 will be replaced. Five other bridges over the freeway will be widened, and new ramp meters will be installed at four locations.
Work on the project began in May 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in fall 2021. Once it’s done, Utah’s Express Lanes system will extend 80 miles, running continuously from Utah County to Weber County. UDOT officials have said the completed project will make Utah’s Express Lane the longest uninterrupted system in the United States.
The system is currently made of seven segments from Spanish Fork to Layton and allows carpoolers, buses, motorcycles and emergency vehicles to use a dedicated lane on the left side of I-15. Solo drivers can drive in the lane for a fee if space is available.