The Utah Department of Transportation is seeking public comment on its proposed Rural Long Range Transportation Plan, which prioritizes how to spend highway construction money in rural areas during the next 30 years.
UDOT figures that $2.5 billion will be available for such rural highway construction between 2011 and 2040, but it says $7 billion worth of work is needed to keep up with growth and safety concerns. The once-every-four-years plan prioritizes projects for available money.
A list of recommended projects may now be viewed at www.udot.utah.gov by clicking on "Long Range Plan Public Comments." Comments will also be accepted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The plan foresees significant widening of interstate freeways including some key canyon routes and widening of some long stretches of two-lane highways.
That includes plans to widen Interstate 80 from three lanes to four from the mouth of Parleys Canyon in Salt Lake County to Jeremy Ranch near Park City an estimated $53 million project. Plans also call for $25 million worth of improvements at nearby Kimball Junction within the next 10 years.
But the plan would leave unscheduled and unfunded through 2040 another $426 million worth of additional I-80 widening and improvements between the mouth of Parleys Canyon and Kimball Junction that officials say UDOT would like to complete when, and if, money becomes available.
Elsewhere, the plan calls for $209 million worth of widening on portions of Interstate 15 in Beaver, Iron and Washington counties, but leaves unscheduled $435 million worth of additional widening and freeway interchange upgrades there that UDOT would like to do.
The plan also calls for spending $86 million through 2040 to add passing lanes or widen many stretches of U.S. 40 between Heber and Roosevelt, but it leaves another $12 million of widening of the highway near Heber unscheduled.
Some other items of note in the plan include: $309 million worth of widening and interchange work on Interstate 70 in Millard, Sevier and Emery counties; $238 million worth of widening and interchange work on I-80 in Tooele County; and widening the highway in Ogden Canyon, a $65 million project.