SARATOGA SPRINGS Whether trying to avoid traffic on I-15 or Lehi's Main Street or just getting out of a neighborhood to grocery shop residents in communities like Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain in Utah County and Herriman and Bluffdale in Salt Lake County, among others, constantly use Redwood Road as a principal thoroughfare.
For the next year-plus they will be inconvenienced by a major construction project, but transportation officials say it will be worth it.
The Utah Department of Transportation is widening Redwood Road from the Bangerter Highway in Bluffdale to 400 South in Saratoga Springs.
Currently a two-lane road, UDOT plans to widen Redwood to five lanes, with bike lanes on both the northbound and southbound sides, said Adan Carrillo, UDOT spokesman.
UDOT will also install underpasses for wildlife to pass through. "It will greatly reduce the amount of collisions people experience out there with wildlife," Carrillo said.
The underpasses will also protect the animals in their migration patterns, he said.
"We're going to build fences that will guide them underneath these passings so they can use them and cross back and forth safely," he said.
Construction has begun on the north side of Camp Williams in Salt Lake County, Carrillo said.
Billed as a "design-build" project, construction starts when the design for a particular area is complete. When construction is finished in one section, workers move on to another phase of the project.
Construction in Utah County hasn't yet started, and with the design-build phasing, UDOT doesn't have a set timetable for when that would begin, Carrillo said.
UDOT has worked with Bluffdale and Saratoga Springs, which are directly affected by the widening.
Ken Leetham, Saratoga Springs city manager, said city officials have had several detailed meetings with UDOT that have kept them informed and their needs met.
"We've had the chance to make requests of UDOT for future utility crossings and things the public needs in the future, (like) storm drains, sewer lines and all those things," Leetham said.
UDOT has also worked with homeowners and business owners that will be affected along the road, though most of the property that will be impacted by the widening in Saratoga Springs is agricultural land.
Leetham said he hadn't received much feedback from residents about the project, but everything he has heard is positive.
"Everybody out here is really happy to see some road widening being done," he said.
During previous public open houses, residents were able to sign up to receive updates every week in a newsletter sent out by UDOT, Carrillo said.
Anyone interested in signing up to receive the e-mail can either call 455-3116 or send an e-mail to email@example.com and ask to be added to the list.Carrillo said the 10-mile project should be completed in fall 2009.