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Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Crews relocate utilities and construct drainage systems for the Mountain View Corridor in West Jordan on Monday, March 7, 2011. The work will close 8200 South between 5600 West and 6000 West in West Jordan for 90 days.

WEST JORDAN — Work on the 35-mile-long Mountain View Corridor highway has been under way for a year now. But unlike the major reconstruction projects on I-15, most motorists traversing Utah and Salt Lake counties are probably unaware.

"You don't realize the size and scope of the project unless you're driving through a neighborhood where work is taking place," said UDOT spokesman David Smith. "It's neighborhood by neighborhood."

One of those neighborhoods that will now take notice is in West Jordan, where the Utah Department of Transportation closed a four-block segment of 8200 South between 5600 and 6000 West on Monday to relocate utilities affected by the highway project that will stretch from I-80 to Lehi when it is finished.

Motorists in the area will be taking detours around the construction area for the next 90 days.

Construction impacts are also localized on the south end of the project in Lehi, where work is advancing along 2100 North between I-15 and Redwood Road.

Project Director Teri Newell said the overall project is on schedule with the Lehi end expected to be open to traffic this fall. "We started on the south end of the corridor and we're working our way to the north, doing grading and excavation for the roadway. Right now we have about seven miles of that roadway graded in."

Grading work will reach 5400 South in Salt Lake County soon, "which will give us another eight miles," she said.

During the upcoming summer construction season, crews will be working on some side streets that will tie in to the future highway, but there will be few road closures. "I think we're trying to minimize the closures as much as possible," Newell said.

UDOT says the Legislature allocated $500 million of a bonding package in 2009 for the start of construction in Salt Lake County. The Transportation Commission had previously designated $230 million for Salt Lake County and $130 million for Utah County.

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The highway will initially be like Bangerter Highway in that intersections with cross streets will be regulated by traffic lights. Northbound and southbound lanes will have a significant space between them to allow a future freeway to be built in the center.

"I think it's really innovative in the fact that we have an initial construction that we're doing, which builds two lanes in each direction, and we're able to add to that in the future years and eventually have it be a full freeway," Newell said.

The Mountain View Corridor website, udot.utah.gov/mountainview, has more information on the design, alignment and other project details.

Steve Fidel

Twitter: SteveFidel