After eighteen months of construction, Interstate 215 will be clear of work crews and orange barrels beginning Monday.
The construction on I-215 — with an average 125,000 vehicles daily, making it the second busiest stretch of highway in the state — was the most prominent of three major road projects being finished off this weekend.
The others are:
• Opening a new two-mile extension of Mountain View Corridor (about 6500 West) between 5400 So. and 4100 So. and
• Opening the 7000 South overpass on Bangerter Highway in West Jordan.
Also, next week, the Utah Department of Transportation expects to complete work on a stretch of Interstate 15 in St. George, where highway widening and bridge reconstruction is coming to an end.
The $105 million 1-215 project in West Valley City between 4700 So. and State Road 201 added lanes, rebuilt bridges and completely replaced two major aging bridges over S.R. 201. UDOT also repaved I-215 on its south end, between 300 E. and Redwood Road.
The construction is now complete but crews are finishing up last-minute work on signs and other details affecting traffic, but that should be wrapped up Sunday, said Oanh Le-Spradlin, UDOT project manager.
Overall, she said, the project went smoothly: within budget, averting chronic traffic delays, without worker fatalities or serious injuries — and on time. “It was projected to be done by Black Friday (Nov. 24) and we came in squeaking by.”
UDOT was especially proud of the safety record.
“It was a really safe project. There were no major injuries and absolutely no fatalities to the public or the workers,” said Le-Spradlin.
While there was an increase in rear-end accidents, most were minor, but all other types of crashes were down, she said.
Further west, crews were working to complete finishing touches on the new interchange at 7000 S. Bangerter. Striping and other detail work is expected to wrap up this weekend, weather permitting, said Bryan Chamberlain, resident engineer over the project.
This overpass — eliminating the stop-and-go traffic that backs up on Bangerter north and south and on 7000 So. east and west — is the first of four currently under construction.
The other three, at 11400 S., 9000 S. and 5400 S. are expected to be completed next fall.
It’s all part of UDOT’s plan to convert Bangerter Highway into an expressway — removing all the traffic lights and replacing them with freeway-like interchanges.
“It will definitely help ease congestion here,” Chamberlain said. “We’re expecting still a lot of growth out here in the southwest part of the valley, excess capacity is needed to improve quality of life, reduce accidents — all those kinds of things.”
Correction: Repaving between 300 East and Redwood Road took place on I-215, not Bangerter Highway.