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West Valley City Journal

Changes coming to Bangerter Highway in West Valley City when funding allows

Sep 08, 2022 12:58PM ● By Darrell Kirby

Don’t expect to see orange barrels and heavy equipment any time soon, but the planning process is underway to convert Bangerter Highway through West Valley City into a freeway-style expressway. 

The Utah Department of Transportation has been conducting public hearings and seeking other feedback recently as part of a state environmental study to determine the best way to change Bangerter Highway from its present structure of intersections controlled by traffic signals to a continuous-flow freeway with interchanges from 4100 South in West Valley City to California Avenue in Salt Lake City. West Valley City intersections that would be impacted would be 4100 South, 3500 South, 3100 South, Parkway Boulevard, 2400 South and State Route 201. 

The purpose is to reduce congestion and improve safety along the route on Salt Lake County’s fast-growing west side. “We have seen a reduction in accidents along the highway where intersections have been replaced by interchanges,” said Alex Fisher-Willis, UDOT project manager. 

The cost of and design of the project won’t be fully determined until at least mid 2023 when the environmental study is completed, a document that will address community impacts like noise, air quality, historic buildings, and wetlands, Fisher-Willis explained.  

Crews won’t break ground on the project for at least another six years. “We’re actually not funded until 2028. Even then, the funds that we do have available at that time are pretty limited,” Fisher-Willis said. “Once we’ve finished the environmental document, we’re hoping we’ll get some additional funds to move forward with the whole thing.” 

While generally supportive of the highway improvements, the West Valley City Council in December 2021 passed a resolution requesting that UDOT “be mindful” of potential construction-related impacts on city residents and businesses, including the acquisition of residential and commercial properties in the path of future roadwork, the creation of a patchwork of “unusable remnant parcels,” “the loss of homes and businesses,” and the “removal of existing landscaped buffers along commercial properties.” 

The resolution further states that “the City encourages UDOT to conduct a thorough assessment of any alternatives that could provide the needed connectivity” with cross streets “while minimizing impact to existing properties.”

Much of the southern half of Bangerter Highway from 5400 South in Kearns and Redwood Road in Riverton has been converted over the last few years to freeway-style interchanges. Construction will begin next year to do the same at 4700 South, 9800 South, 13400 South, and 2700 West where Riverton and Bluffdale meet. λ