SYRACUSE — The transportation department is looking to expand yet another east-west arterial road in northern Davis County, bracing for a traffic spike expected to come with new growth and the West Davis Corridor.
The Utah Department of Transportation will soon begin an environmental study of Antelope Drive/1700 South in Syracuse, looking to improve carrying capacity on the heavily-traveled road between 2000 West and what will eventually be the West Davis Corridor.
Construction on the $725 million, 19-mile highway is set to begin in 2020. As an extension of the Legacy Parkway, the road will serve as an alternative to Interstate 15 in western Weber and Davis Counties and should be open to traffic by 2022.
“With the construction of the West Davis Corridor, (Antelope Drive) is projected to have increased traffic demand,” UDOT’s Ivan Hartle told transportation commissioners earlier this month.
The commission approved the use of $700,000 in state construction funds to pay for the environmental study.
UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said the study will look at widening the section of Antelope. The commission has also approved funding for an environmental study of State Road 193 in Layton and Clearfield, which would consider extending that road from 3000 West to 4500 West in West Point.
“In order for the West Davis Corridor to work like we want it to, we have to make sure those major east-west routes are flowing well,” Saunders said. “The (WDC) isn’t going to do what we want it to if people can’t access it conveniently.”
The section of Antelope being studied is full of commercial businesses and retail centers and ultimately connects to Antelope Island. According to UDOT traffic statistics, Antelope Drive near Bluff Road in Syracuse saw an average of about 21,000 vehicles per day in 2016 — more than double the 10,000 daily vehicles on the road just two years prior, in 2014.
The road will get busier too.
UDOT says the number of households in western Weber and Davis counties is expected to increase by more than 65 percent by 2040. The recent Utah State Scenic Byway designation for the WDC also figures to pump traffic onto Antelope. State officials say part of the designation was driven by a desire to increase tourism near the area of the corridor, particularly at Antelope Island.
The West Davis Corridor will begin in Farmington, connecting with Interstate 15 and the Legacy Parkway at Glovers Lane. The highway will end at 1800 North in West Point, but a future extension that would terminate near the Weber/Box Elder County line is included in the state’s long-range plan.
The new road will connect to existing state highways and city streets through six new interchanges.