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Ravell Call, Deseret News
A motorcycle breaks a paper banner held by dignitaries as UDOT and Layton City open the Midtown Crossing bridge over I-15 in Layton on Monday, June 25, 2018.

LAYTON — The Midtown Crossing Bridge over I-15 opened Monday, the latest in a series of efforts intended to ease traffic congestion in the area near the Layton Hills Mall.

The two-lane bridge that also has bike lanes and pedestrian sidewalks in both directions extends from 1300 North on the west side of the freeway to 1425 North on the east side, to connect Main Street and Hill Field Road.

The $25 million bridge project was described at the grand opening by Utah Department of Transportation Executive Director Carlos Braceras as tying the community "together in a way we have not been able to do before."

Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said at the ceremony the bridge will help those residents in the Davis County community who "feel kind of trapped" on one side of the freeway or the other because of traffic issues.

The nearly 300-foot-long span sits about 17 feet above the freeway and follows a new I-15 interchange at Hill Field Road and new through-turn intersections on Main Street and Hill Field Road.

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The special turn lanes, also used in Kearns and Draper, have drivers making a left turn clear an intersection first before essentially making a U-turn. Other plans for the area include changes to U.S. 89 to make it wider and more freeway-like.

Layton Mayor Bob Stevenson said after he was elected that one of the first issues he was approached about were the through-turn intersections. He said while they're confusing at first, they speed up access to the freeway.

"It's a night and day difference from where it was a few years ago. It's a great thing for folks that live in that area," UDOT spokesman John Gleason said. He said UDOT was pleased to work with Layton officials and lawmakers on the bridge project.