SOUTH JORDAN — Travel time along Bangerter Highway just got a little bit faster and a little bit smoother.
The Utah Department of Transportation on Monday celebrated the completion of four new interchanges on Bangerter Highway — and announced plans to remodel three more beginning in 2020.
All lanes and ramps have now opened at the freeway-style interchanges at 5400 South, 7000 South, 9000 South and 11400 South. The cost of the project was $215 million.
UDOT officials say occasional short-term lane closures are expected at night and on weekends as crews complete landscaping, striping and other small details.
In all, seven stoplights on Bangerter Highway have now been replaced with new interchanges — including on- and off-ramps. Interchanges at 600 West, Redwood Road and 7800 South were also revamped to improve traffic flow and meet the growing transportation needs in western Salt Lake County.
Now, motorists headed south on the highway can drive all the way to 9800 South without hitting a traffic light.
"These are the types of projects that when the day you open them people notice a difference, and their lives become better and mobility becomes better, Carlos Braceras, UDOT executive director, said during a press event to mark the completion.
And officials say the new interchanges are saving motorists about 10 minutes of drive time and improving safety.
"Spending less time in the car matters to everyone, said South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey. “It's better for the air. It's better and so many ways. We're really thrilled to have this intersection done.”
However, neighbors of the 9000 South on-ramp say are unhappy a sound wall tapers and doesn't block as much traffic as they expected. West Jordan and UDOT put in nearly a half-million dollars to raise the height of the wall about 3 feet.
“I wish it was taller,” said Tiffany Skelton, who lives near the wall. "For the safety of our neighborhood, and the protection, and make us feel like we're neighborhood and not just a sideshow of the freeway.”
"Unfortunately, our work is impactful and we are working through people's neighborhoods. We acknowledge that. It's difficult,” Braceras said.
UDOT now has its eyes set on the interchanges at 6200 South, 10400 South and 12600 South. Previously, the interchanges at 10400 South and 12600 South were scheduled for construction beginning in 2022, but funds were transferred from other projects to complete these interchanges sooner.5 comments on this story
In 2019, crews will relocate a section of the Jordan Aqueduct near 6200 South from under Bangerter Highway to west of the highway, prior to the start of major construction on the interchange itself in 2020. A similar relocation was completed near 5400 South in 2016.
During construction of the four interchanges, UDOT crews:
• Worked nearly 290,000 man-hours.
• Placed 16 miles of concrete safety barrier and 10 miles of drainage pipe.
• Excavated or placed 2.2 million tons of dirt.
• Built seven new bridges and a new pedestrian overpass.
• Reduced planned full closures of Bangerter Highway by 75 percent. The project had planned to use up to 24 full closures but only needed six.