LAYTON — One of the busiest driving corridors is getting a major makeover.
Crews from the Utah Department of Transportation Monday began dismantling the old Layton water tank near the intersection of Oak Hills Drive and U.S. 89 as part of the highway’s reconstruction project.
The city recently constructed a new water tank that is currently in operation, with the old one being removed to accommodate construction on the U.S. 89 widening project, said UDOT spokesman Zach Whitney.
“This (was) the iconic Layton City water tower that’s been as part of the landscape for decades,” he said. “It is a bit of an undertaking to have the crews out there, they have a big piece of equipment that’s got what looks like little scissors on it and they just cut away the water tower to take it down.”
Crews are constructing a new interchange at Oak Hills Drive and three other locations along the highway, including 200 North/400 North in Fruit Heights, and Gordon Avenue and Antelope Drive in Layton, he said. Each location will be redesigned with on- and off-ramps and bridges where necessary to improve the flow of traffic in the heavily traveled area, he added.
The $400 million project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2023. When finished, the U.S. 89 project will enhance safety and traffic flow on the roadway as well as at connections with local cross streets, according to UDOT.
Whitney said the road will be widened to three lanes in each direction along the 9.5-mile stretch from Main Street in Farmington to state Route 193 in Layton. Besides the previously mentioned interchanges, a bridge will be built at Oak Hills Drive, along with bridges over U.S. 89 at Nicholls and Crestwood Roads.
“As part of our project, one of the biggest pieces we’ve done to date is relocating utilities,” he said. “We relocated about 150 miles of utilities on this project, so that we can make way for the widened roadway and the water lines are just one of those.”
He said UDOT worked closely with Layton in the building of the new water facility. With the new water tank in operation, taking down the old unit marks a memorable milestone for those who live and pass through that area of Davis County, he added.
“We recognize that this is an icon and anyone who has driven through that area has seen how dramatically it’s changed. We are changing the landscape,” Whitney said. “We’re grateful for the city working with us to improve transportation for that area.”
The project will also include a 3-mile extension of Gordon Avenue to connect the road to U.S. 89. UDOT officials say the project is expected to also upgrade the connections between U.S. 89 and Main Street, as well as state Route 193 and I-84. In some locations, sections of new frontage road will be added to improve access to existing frontage roads and local streets.
The new amenities are expected to improve local driving access the to new interchanges and help vehicles cross efficiently, Whitney said, while the frontage roads will include shared shoulders that also function as a parallel bicycle route.