FARMINGTON — The Utah Department of Transportation still plans a six-lane expressway along 9 miles of U.S. 89 between Farmington and I-84 in Uintah, Weber County.
Although keeping the highway at four lanes was considered, the change was not included in newly released revisions to a draft state environmental study for the $275 million project expected to be completed in 2021.
"This has become a major thoroughfare and changes are needed," UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said, including adding a lane in each direction to accommodate projected increases in traffic.
Concerns about widening the highway were raised after the initial draft statement was released in October, so Saunders said UDOT is planning to use quieter, noise-dampening pavement and erect sound walls to reduce the impact.
He said the fruit stands along the route will still be accessible via frontage roads. The redesigned highway will no longer have traffic signals or intersections but will have on- and off-ramps.
Saunders said a new connection to the expressway will be at Gordon Avenue in Layton, which has been realigned to help property owners in the area as well as to conform with plans by the city.
Another change from the initial draft is a new northbound ramp at state Route 193 connecting with Valley View Drive in Layton to provide access to residents living east of the expressway.
A public hearing on the revised study is set for Jan. 16 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Davis High School in Kaysville. Comments can also be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to P.O. Box 1033, Farmington UT 84025.
Information is available at udot.utah.gov/us89 and there is a study hotline to ask questions or raise concerns, at 888-752-8789. The comment period began Jan. 2 and will end Feb. 3.5 comments on this story
Saunders said UDOT is hoping for final approval for the project by early summer, with construction planned to be underway in the fall of 2019. He said it should take two years to finish.
He said the changes are intended to handle traffic increases through 2040. The highway, once known as Mountain Road, already sees significant commuter traffic from drivers traveling between Ogden and Salt Lake City, Saunders said.
"There are always people who oppose any kind of changes like this, and we understand that. But we have been open and transparent in our process," he said. "We will continue to do that."
Contributing: Peter Samore