UINTAH — The Utah Department of Transportation has added a significant amount of new work and money to its ongoing reconstruction of U.S. 89 in Northern Utah.
On Friday, the Utah Transportation Commission approved a UDOT request to add $60 million to the project, bringing the total value of the work up to $555 million.
Scheduled to be completed in 2023, UDOT had planned to rebuild U.S. 89 and widen the highway to six lanes from Main Street in Farmington to State Road 193 in Layton. As part of the project, four new interchanges are being built at 200 North, Oak Hills Drive, Gordon Avenue and Antelope Drive in Layton. Gordon Avenue will be extended approximately three miles east, connecting to the highway, and the state will add two new bridges over the highway at Nicholls Road and Crestwood Road.
UDOT’s director of financial programming, Ivan Hartle, said the original scope for the project stopped short of the Interstate 84 junction in Uintah, mainly due to funding constraints. But, Hartle said, the state has heard from a vocal public about concerns of current and future traffic backup at the I-84 interchange if something isn’t done soon to address it.
Hartle said that in response to the concerns, UDOT did some additional traffic analysis and has confirmed that traffic near the interchange on U.S. 89 can back up for more than a mile on the northbound section of the highway during peak evening commuting times.
“(And) this delay is only anticipated to increase with the completion of the U.S. 89 reconstruction project,” Hartle said.
As part of the new work, UDOT will take the current U.S. 89 extension north to the I-84 junction near Weber Canyon, will build a new interchange at the junction with new on- and off-ramps, and will rebuild the I-84 bridge over the Weber River.
“This is a really critical need,” said Utah Transportation Commissioner Wayne Barlow, who represents Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Morgan, Weber and Rich counties.
UDOT Deputy Director Teri Newell said the additional work on U.S. 89 is necessary to “make the project whole.”
“While it’s a large amount that we’re adding at this point, it’s because we are programming out our money for some time,” Newell said. “This is important to get the correct scope on this.”
The ongoing work on U.S. 89 through Davis County is the largest active highway project in the state, according to a UDOT press release. By the time the project is finished in 2023, the state will have spent four years on the project. UDOT spokesman John Gleason told the Standard-Examiner that the project, which includes eliminating stop lights and cross traffic, will accommodate the anticipated traffic growth in the area through 2040 and beyond.