Construction of northbound ramps to the 4500 South interchange on I-215's east leg has been bumped up to the state's five-year construction schedule.
The decision by the Utah Transportation Commission on Friday means the $15 million project leaves the state's wish list - or "needs inventory" - and qualifies for funding to conduct further studies and construction.Utah Department of Transportation officials said the interchange has been planned since 1969, but design problems and difficulties in completing I-215 delayed any action.
UDOT engineers presented a solution to northbound ramps to the commission. The existing bridge spanning I-215 and connecting 4500 South and Wasatch Boulevard would be torn down and a new bridge would cross the freeway at an angle, reducing the steep grade and allowing room for northbound exit and entry ramps.
The existing southbound exit will remain and the commission approved plans for a southbound off-ramp in March. But complaints about the southbound off-ramp still exist. At a recent public meeting, some residents complained that UDOT's plans to turn Stratton Drive into a cul-de-sac will force traffic onto Wallace Lane.
UDOT says Stratton Drive must be closed because of its proximity to the proposed interchange. Also, state officials said the fact that Wallace Lane is the only other through street in the area is a county planning problem, not a state problem.
But the commission said planners will take another look at the interchange's traffic impacts and see if there are any options to closing off Stratton Drive.