This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Interstate 215 in western Salt Lake County now is one of the roughest rides of any Utah freeway, covered with cracks and patches. But a big $104 million project aims to change that beginning next spring.
The Utah Transportation Commission was told Friday that over the next two years, the Utah Department of Transportation will replace all the concrete pavement there between State Road 201 and 4700 South.
"The pavement is in very bad shape," said David Schwartz, program manager for UDOT's Region 2.
He said the project will do much more than just replace pavement, including:
• Replace the I-215 bridges at SR-201, and widen bridges at 3800 South and 3500 South.
• Reconstruct lanes and ramps at 4700 South and 3500 South, which Schwartz said should make it easier to enter the freeway by eliminating some confusing lane shifting that is now needed.
• Add auxiliary lanes which help traffic enter or exit the freeway, but are not through-lanes throughout the stretch.
• Upgrade all signs and lighting.
• Install ramp meters at 3500 South and 4700 South, which can space out cars entering the freeway to help eliminate congestion at entrances. They are used at several Interstate 15 interchanges.
"We are preparing for ramp metering. I'm not sure if we will turn that on," Schwartz said. "But we're preparing for that down the road" when congestion may make it necessary.
• Repave current asphalt in westbound I-215 lanes between 300 East and Redwood Road. UDOT repaved the eastbound lanes there last year. "There was too much work to do all that [section] in one year, so we added that to this project," Schwartz said.
UDOT plans to advertise the project in coming weeks and begin work in the spring, Schwartz said. "It will be under construction for two seasons. It's not a small project," and is scheduled to be completed in fall of 2017.
Schwartz said UDOT is working to minimize the impacts on traffic during construction.
"We're planning on having four lanes open [in each direction] during peak hours. There may be times we go down to two lanes in non-peak hours," he said. "There are going to be times we have to close some ramps."
Still, "Overall, we should have the same number of lanes we have now. But during construction, people tend to go slower through that section. We're doing our best to minimize that," he said.
That is not the only big project planned for western Salt Lake County beginning this spring.
UDOT also told the Transportation Commission on Friday that it plans to begin a $180 million project to extend the new Mountain View Corridor from its current terminus at 5400 South to 4100 South. That also is expected to take two construction seasons and end in the fall of 2017.
"We have the contractor on board. They are working on the design now, and should be turning dirt this spring," Schwartz said.
Mountain View is a divided highway designed eventually to be converted into a freeway that currently runs from near the Utah County line to 5400 South, and generally is aligned at about 5800 West.