Facebook Twitter

I-15 IN DAVIS TO GET EXTRA LANES BETWEEN I-215, WOODS CROSS

SHARE I-15 IN DAVIS TO GET EXTRA LANES BETWEEN I-215, WOODS CROSS

They're a-comin'. The long-awaited extra lanes for I-15 in Davis County are on their way, slated for a two-year project that begins next winter.

But before you get too excited, consider this: The lanes, one northbound, one southbound, will extend only from the I-215 merge to the 2600 South exit. Despite a Dan Jones & Associates poll last winter that indicated Davis County residents overwhelmingly feel a severe need for extra lanes all the way to Farmington, that's not going to happen just yet.Traffic headache alert: There will be a respite of only a few months between the end of the on-going I-15 pavement repair at Centerville and Farmington and the start of the new construction project. (Ironically, many residents believed workers on the current, more northward, project were putting in new lanes, but that isn't happening either.)

The extra lanes are being built to help alleviate the familiar "back-up at the I-15/I-215 merge" mantra heard on the radio each afternoon. But since they will extend only between two adjacent full interchanges, they technically will be "auxiliary" instead of "all-purpose" lanes (the intervening south-bound exit onto North Salt Lake's Center Street doesn't qualify as a full-blown interchange). And that makes a difference.

Under the auxiliary lane designation, the Utah Department of Transportation doesn't have to study whether to put sound walls next to the expanded highway, something that comes as a great disappointment to neighboring residents who desperately want to lessen the din invading their yards 24 hours a day.

"They say it's not another lane, I say that'shogwash," said Leola Mikklesen, a Woods Cross resident who has been leading the fight for the $2 million walls. "It's another lane and it's going to be full and just as busy as the others."

The $20 million project includes reconstruction of the Center Street and Main Street bridges and reconfiguration of a stretch of 2600 South east of the exit.

UDOT is trying to get frontage roads like Wildcat Way farther away from the highway, so the construction plan by H.W. Lochner engineering company includes moving Wildcat Way's intersection with 2600 South a bit to the east and creating a full four-way intersection, complete with traffic light, at 500 East.

In this configuration, Wildcat Way would curve between the Slim Olson Chevron station and Kmart on 2600 East.

In addition, Lochner Vice President Jeannine Wirth wants to get rid of the intersection of 400 East and 2600 South, or at least put a median on 2600 South to allow only right turns into and out of 400 South. North Salt Lake officials, however, aren't keen on that idea since it might inhibit traffic into the Cottontree Inn, the only motel in North Salt Lake. A handful of nearby motels near the interchange are in Woods Cross.

While UDOT and city officials work out the details of construction planning, sound wall advocates are continuing their fight.

"I'm a bit frustrated right now, but we can be just about as loud as the traffic if need be," said North Salt Lake resident Kim Bell.