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Hearing set on ramp closures

DRAPER — The Utah Department of Transportation wants to permanently close the two I-15 ramps at 11800 South.

Both the northbound I-15 offramp to State Street and the southbound I-15 onramp from State Street have been shut down since early this year for the reconstruction of the 12300 South interchange.

But the closures, expected to last two years, would become permanent under UDOT's proposal.

The move is intended to improve safety on State Street and maintain the fluid operation of I-15.

UDOT engineers also were concerned the flyover ramp placing State Street traffic onto southbound I-15 could interfere with future widening of the freeway.

The full proposal will be presented in a public hearing, Thursday, March March 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Altara Elementary School, 800 E. 11000 South, in Sandy.

"We feel the alternative we've come to is the best alternative, in our minds, for addressing some of these short-term regional transportation problems," said UDOT spokesman Tom Hudachko.

UDOT also proposes improvements to State Street between 12300 South and 11200 South, and upgrades to the State Street intersections of 11400 South and 11800 South.

In addition, it plans to permanently connect Factory Outlet Drive to State Street. A temporary connection was created earlier this year.

The State Street improvements would include turn lanes, curb, gutter, shoulders and sidewalks.

Hudachko said the offramp to State Street was particularly problematic because exiting traffic had to cross the freeway in the same 1,500-foot stretch where cars entered northbound I-15 from the 12300 South onramp.

At an open house in December, a number of residents who live near the 11800 South ramps said they would not be sad to see them go. They said the ramps confuse motorists, create traffic hazards and increase congestion.

But many of those same residents said they wanted a proposed I-15 interchange at 11400 South built as soon as possible.

UDOT is now studying potential improvements in the 11400 South area after the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last June that UDOT did not adequately consider alternatives to building a 11400 South interchange or the impacts associated with it.

The proposed changes at 11800 South and the surrounding area are part of an environmental assessment available for inspection at UDOT's Region 2 offices, 2010 S. 2760 West, the Draper City Library, 12441 S. 900 East, and other locations.

Anyone who cannot attend the March 20 hearing can provide comments in writing to: Horrocks Engineers, c/o Stephanee Eastman, P.O. Box 377, 1 W. Main St., American Fork, UT 84003. All comments must be submitted by midnight April 4.