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Matt Powers, Deseret News
UDOT's Geneva Road widening project was completed on schedule and opened on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. Crews added three lanes between University Parkway and 1600 North in Orem and built a five-lane, 260-foot long bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at 400 South.

OREM — State transportation officials hope that motorists who suffered through the widening Geneva Road will experience the benefits of transforming a primarily industrial road into a high-capacity and pedestrian-friendly alternative to Interstate 15.  

The Utah Department of Transportation has added three lanes, which includes left turn lanes, to the road between University Parkway and 1600 North in Orem and built a five-lane, 260-foot-long bridge over both the freight and Frontrunner tracks at 400 South.

"It eliminates the conflict that was once there where cars had to stop for the rail,” UDOT spokeswoman Heather Barnum said.

Construction on the 3.6-mile road began at the same time as I-15 Core reconstruction. But UDOT accelerated the project, just 13 months from start to finish, to provide a reasonable alternative route when the freeway work focuses on the Orem area this summer.

"We're just pleased the public was supportive, and they worked through having construction on both Geneva and I-15, but hopefully they will see the added benefit of having this as an alternative during this busy construction season on the freeway," Barnum said.

Crews placed more than 190,000 square feet of concrete sidewalk and driveways, adding 60 percent more sidewalks than was previously on Geneva Road, making it safer for pedestrians. The part of the project required more than 210,000 square yards of asphalt, which is enough to pave 33 football fields.

The $76 million Geneva Road project is part of a $670 million local roads investment in Utah County since July 2008, which includes four other projects: state Route 77 in Springville; Pioneer Crossing in American Fork; state Route 92 in Lehi; and initial groundwork for a future Vineyard Connector in Lindon.

Sam Penrod