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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Mountain View Corridor Project Director Teri Newell speaks as UDOT opens the first section of the Mountain View Corridor with a 5K Fun Run on the new road and a community celebration in Riverton on Saturday, June 2, 2012.

RIVERTON — Herriman and Riverton residents gathered Saturday at Foothills Park to celebrate the opening of two miles of the new Mountain View Corridor.

The event began at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting, 5K fun run and one-mile walk. Between 450 and 500 residents walked or ran along the new road while others enjoyed music, refreshments and inflatable toys at Foothills Park.

"We're very excited that we're opening the first stretch of the Mountain View Corridor in Salt Lake County," Teri Newell, project director for the corridor, said.

The two miles of new road opened Saturday provides an alternate north-south route between 12600 South and 14400 South for Herriman and Riverton residents. That stretch is part of 15 miles of new road currently under construction by the Utah Department of Transportation that will open by the end of the year, Newell said. When the remainder is opened, the Mountain View Corridor will run from 5400 South to 16000 South.

"It's been 10 years in the making," Newell said of the project. "It's taken a long time."

Newell credited the contractors working with UDOT for the Herriman-Riverton portion of the corridor opening early.

The corridor is made up of two separate one-way roads, running parallel north to south, with two traffic lanes each. Eventually, UDOT plans to extend the corridor from I-80 to Lehi, a total distance of 35 miles.

Riverton Mayor Bill Applegarth said the corridor is a welcome addition to the community. He said the road will ease the commute of residents and in time he hoped it would help the city with property values and economic development. 

"It's going to obviously help us with traffic and give people another way out," he said. "It will improve our lives in many ways."

Applegarth said a portion of 4800 West near the corridor will be closed and a number of additions and improvements will be made to the city's park system in conjunction with the new road.

Herriman resident Brian Alm said traffic congestion was a serious problem in the area. He was optimistic the new corridor would help commuting times, which he said at peak hours can take 20 minutes to travel a few blocks. 

"It is insane in the morning leaving for work and the afternoon is even crazier," he said. "I'm hoping this will free up at least five or 10 minutes."

Alm attended the ribbon-cutting event with his son, who was excited to walk along the road before drivers went on it. The two-mile stretch of the Mountain View Corridor was opened for vehicle traffic at 3 p.m. Saturday.