As part of what officials call a continuing renaissance of West Valley City, they celebrated the official completion Wednesday of a new "back door" road to the recently made-over Valley Fair Mall.
"It'll save people five minutes" entering the mall from Interstate 215 at 3500 South, said West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder about a new one-way I-215 frontage road called 2400 West.
People exiting southbound I-215 can drive straight onto the new road, which connects to the east parking lot of the mall and Costco. People driving down 3500 South can also turn onto the new road instead of fighting heavy traffic and difficult turns on Constitution Boulevard (2700 West), which has been the front door to the mall and other businesses lining that street.
The Utah Department of Transportation spent $6 million to reconfigure the I-215 interchange at 3500 South, and to add the new frontage road. While the new 2400 West has been open for a few weeks, ribbon-cutting ceremonies on Wednesday marked the formal completion of the interchange and road.
"It's now easier and safer to get where you want to go," said UDOT Project Manager Oanh Le-spradlin, adding it should help ease congestion caused by the 46,000 vehicles a day that use the interchange.
"It's a big part of what we call the West Valley renaissance," Winder said about the new road.
Other parts of that renaissance, he said, include an ongoing makeover of the mall which he said has increased traffic to it by 57 percent over two years ago. Other parts include recent completion of the new TRAX line to West Valley City and the mall, and the ongoing Fairbourne Station development near the mall.
Bragging about the mall, Winder said that its Olive Garden restaurant is the "No. 1 Olive Garden in North America," and said its Ross Dress for Less and Wingers are also top-rated in their chains. He said a new Megaplex theater planned where an old Mervyn's store currently sits vacant will add even more traffic and the new 2400 West will provide direct access to it.
How the interchange works
See an animation of how the new interchange works and allows a new back-door entrance to Valley Fair Mall at 1.usa.gov/jBiYc0