A wild wintry storm last weekend forced the Utah Department of Transportation to call off a planned closure of southbound I-15 from Parrish Lane to Park Lane in Davis County out of concern for workers’ safety.

Mitch Shaw, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation, said the closure was to allow the placement of girders for a bridge that will span I-15 so motorists can connect with the West Davis Corridor, a 16-mile, four-lane divided highway set to open in late 2024.

“We want to get it done as fast as possible because there’s obviously some major impacts to traffic,” he said. “But now we’re seeing snow and we’re almost into April, so hopefully this snow ends soon.”

Shaw said Tuesday the girder placement will happen this weekend, weather permitting, so travelers can expect southbound road closures in that Davis County area. A schedule is available at the corridor project website.

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Work on the West Davis Corridor continues in the Syracuse area on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The transportation agency was required to come up with a plan to handle environmental concerns due to the highway’s proximity to the Great Salt Lake.

Project components include dark-sky lighting, noise-reducing pavement, and a 1,100-acre wildlife and wetlands plan.

It also features more than 10 miles of new trail and connections to create a consolidated trail system connecting Emigration Trail to the Legacy Parkway Trail.

The first phase of the West Davis Corridor’s route will connect to I-15 and Legacy Parkway at approximately Glovers Lane in Farmington, extending west and north, terminating at 4500 West and the future extension of state Route 193 (700 South) in West Point. 

As of now, the project is 70% complete and on schedule, Shaw said.

Critics of the project have complained about its impact to the environment, fostering more dependence on fossil fuels and ripping up farms and homes to build a transportation system that gobbles up land, destroys a rural lifestyle and produces more carbon emissions.

But project proponents argued the corridor is necessary to not only to provide an alternative route when I-15 gets bogged down in traffic, but to meeting the rapidly growing areas of western Davis and Weber counties.

By 2040, the population in Davis County is projected to increase by 33%, and by 66% in Weber County. Employment for those same areas will increase by 45% and 72% respectively, according to a transportation analysis.

Workers construct a bridge over I-15 on the West Davis Corridor near Farmington on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News