PLEASANT GROVE — Sick of road construction? Brace yourself for more.

Utah County officials hope to start a construction project this summer that they hope will help relieve congestion in the northern part of the county.

The planned five-lane road will run from the intersection of 700 North and State Street in Lindon to 4800 North and state Route 92 in Highland.

With the looming I-15 expansion project set to begin in spring 2010, more side roads are needed to cope with decreased capacity on the county's main thoroughfare. The I-15 expansion, which will run from American Fork Main to Spanish Fork Main, will cost about $2.6 billion. Construction will last for about five years.

"We want to get it going so it's in place before I-15 (the expansion project) so there's an alternative for people who maybe are making a short city-to-city trip and may have chosen I-15 before, but now they can choose this," said Andrew Jackson, regional planning director for the Mountainland Association of Governments.

The road will run through four cities. It will be paid for and designed by Utah County government. Jackson said the county decided to build the project to keep the road consistent through each city.

Utah County Commissioner Larry Ellertson, the driving force behind the project, said the county is finishing up the planning process. Work will start sometime this year. Officials also are finishing up negotiations for acquiring the rights-of-way on several parts of the road.

Smaller two- or three-lane roads exist in areas where the larger road is planned. The county will expand those to five lanes and construct a road where none exists, he said.

The county doesn't have all the money needed for the project, so initial construction will target the areas that will be affected most by the interstate expansion and areas where another road is needed now.

"We were originally thinking we had a few more years (before the I-15 expansion project)," he sad. "We may end up not having the entire road to the five lanes by the time that happens."

The project will cost about $15 million from State Street in Lindon to State Street at the Pleasant Grove/American Fork boundary, said Commissioner Steve White. County officials were able to obtain state funding for acquiring the right-of-way along several portions of the road.

It's unclear how much the total project will cost.

A few years ago the county raised the vehicle registration fee by $10 for right-of-way preservation, and the state matches those funds to help with preservation, he said.

White said a new road will also help the American Fork hospital, which is located on 1100 East. That road is scheduled to be widened.

"This is something that Intermountain Healthcare really wants for emergency ambulance service, as well," he said. "Getting patients to the hospital in American Fork is not convenient by ambulance without a decent road."

Construction should begin in summer or early fall in Lindon and Pleasant Grove, White said.


E-mail: csmith@desnews.com