The Layton City Public Works Department has turned out to be one of the best subcontractors the Utah Department of Transportation has ever "hired."

Because of the city's frugal efforts on expanding Antelope Drive last year, it has been allowed to keep $800,000 in UDOT funds for yet another important road project, a frontage road to connect Snow Canyon residents with Cherry Lane and U.S. 89.Snow Canyon residents currently can easily make a right-hand turn off 1200 North onto U.S. 89, but without a traffic signal, a left-hand turn is very difficult and dangerous.

Layton city manager Alex Jensen said the city is currently surveying the area and hopes to construct a wide frontage road north from East Side Drive on 1200 North to connect with Valley View Drive and Cherry Lane this summer. That means Snow Canyon residents can use the Cherry Lane traffic signal to safely access U.S. 89.

Approximately 200 homes would benefit from the new road, with more to follow in future area subdivisions.

Jensen said the city's only possible holdup is if UDOT fails to secure right of way in this area, also proposed for U.S. 89 expansion.

"I'm not sure what we can do if we don't get the right of way," he said.

UDOT gave Layton $3 million several years ago to expand Antelope Drive to four lanes, from I-15 east to Hill Field Road. Because of in-house engineering and other wise cost savings, the city was able not only to fast-track the project but also keep spending to only $2.2 million.

UDOT decided that the city should get to keep the $800,000 for more state-related road projects in the city.

The Snow Canyon frontage road is a state-related project because it ties into the proposed expansion of U.S. 89 and would remain as a frontage road even after that project.

Jensen said UDOT was impressed with Layton's cost savings and ability to get roadwork done.

"It was a win-win situation," Jensen said. He said he's not sure that UDOT has ever had a city project before in which so much money was left over.

Mayor Jerry Stevenson said the credit should rightfully go to Layton's Public Works Department.