We love our cars, don’t we? As our state grows, so does our need to address traffic around the state. Six groups, including the Cache Metro Planning Org. (CMPO), Dixie Metro Planning Org. (Dixie MPO), Mountainland Assoc. of Governments (MAG), Utah Dept. of Transportation (UDOT), Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) are sponsoring a state survey to find out what you think about how, when, where and why you travel in and around the state in order to help plan for future transportation improvements.
You may have heard that UDOT is considering turning the Bangerter Highway into a full blown freeway? Currently there are four new freeway-style interchanges and off-ramps planned for 2700 West, 13400 South, 9800 South and 4700 South which will eliminate stoplights at four more intersections for drivers on the current highway. This is needed as @60,000 drivers use the road everyday but double that is expected by 2040 as growth along the southwest corner of the valley continues to explode with commercial and residential growth.
UTA is going to be adding double track and electrification of FrontRunner commuter rail lines to increase service times, and I-15 may build more lanes from Farmington’s Shepard Lane to Salt Lake City’s 400 South. The public transportation agency has a few options they’ve been presenting to the public. Option A would include five general purpose lanes, an express lane and auxiliary lane in each direction with express lanes being reversed during commutes. Option B proposes reversible express lanes in the middle. Residents along the I-15 corridor could lose homes and businesses in the Guadalupe, Fairpark, Rose Park, Poplar Grove and Woods Cross areas with potential expansion plans on the west side of the freeway. This opens up a huge debate between homeowners and the government, because if it’s decided there will be expansion and home and business owners don’t want to sell, they could lose their property in a public ‘taking’ of their properties which is supposed to give fair market value for those properties if the plans go forward.
Seems like a long time ago when I-15 first began construction. In 1926 when the numbered system of U.S. highways was created, it was known as US 91. Back in 1957 I-15 started as an interstate highway with a segment between Los Angeles and Las Vegas open to traffic in 1966. Construction continued through the 1970’s and the final part of the freeway opening in 1990. In the 1960’s the north-south section was built in Davis County that eventually led to Layton as a new commercial hub and made a huge difference in growth in Centerville, Farmington and Kaysville.
As we grow we need better transportation options. The six groups sponsoring the survey are asking random folks to participate in a statewide survey about how, where and when we travel each day and gives each participating adult a $25 gift card to report their travel for a seven day period.