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Summer construction projects

May 08, 2018 02:56PM ● Published by Cassie Goff

A few major construction projects will directly impact residents’ commutes this summer. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

As Utahans, we all know that the four seasons are fall, winter, spring and construction. For Cottonwood Heights residents, this construction season may be a little heavier than average.

One of the more substantial construction projects within the city this year will be the Highland Drive and Fort Union Boulevard intersection expansion. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will be widening the entire intersection to allow for dual left-turn lanes in all directions. In addition to the dual left-turn lanes, designated right-turn lanes will be added as well. Last year, Rocky Mountain Power moved many of their power poles back to make room for the widening intersection, replacing the poles in the process. 

This year, construction will begin in spring, starting with moving the curbs back and pavement work. The project will include road blockages for six to eight weeks.

This project is estimated to cost around $4.5 million. Funding will come from federal Surface Transportation Program funds and UDOT. When completed, the intersection is anticipated to provide shorter traffic light cues for a safer and more efficient commute.

In conjunction with the Highland Drive and Fort Union Boulevard intersection widening, UDOT will be doing construction on the freeway on-ramp from Highland Drive leading westbound onto I-215. Space will be added, allowing for the possibility of two lanes merging onto the on-ramp, instead of the current single lane. This will give drivers more room to merge onto the on-ramp, hopefully alleviating the current patterns of traffic stacking.

In April, UDOT is also planning on revisiting the high-T intersection on Wasatch. Another lane will be added so drivers turning left onto Wasatch, headed north, can more easily merge with traffic headed northbound from Little Cottonwood Canyon.

The Cottonwood Heights Publics Work Department will begin resurfacing 2700 East shortly after school is out, around the first week of June. Sections of road directly in front of Butler Elementary and Butler Middle School will be reconstructed while the rest of 2700 East, between Fort Union Boulevard and Bengal Boulevard, will experience a complete overlay and restriping. The bid for this project was opened in late March and is planned to be completed before July 24.

Fort Union Boulevard will also experience some resurfacing this season, from 1300 East all the way to Racquet Club Drive, near Wasatch Boulevard. It will be resurfaced with a chip-seal layer from 1300 East to 3000 East. The additional stretch of road, from 3000 East to Racquet Club Drive, will be repaired, after damage incurred from the installation of new water and sewage lines last year. This project will also begin around the first week of June when school is out and should last about two weeks.

2300 East will be resurfaced and restriped as well. The city received a grant for $192,000 for this project. As the entire road will be resurfaced, this project will take a couple of weeks.

Additionally, Cottonwood Heights is working on a pavement condition index (PCI) study. “This study assesses the condition of every single road in the city and assigns a numerical value based upon what the condition is,” Councilmember Scott Bracken said.

Construction plans are already in the works for next summer, and future years. For example, a roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Bengal Boulevard and 2300 East/2325 East. Construction is estimated to begin in the summer of 2019. The city has been working on an environmental document and property acquisition from the LDS church designing a pedestrian crossing for main corridor crossing.

UDOT is also looking into adding additional freeway ramps on the 6200 South/I-215 interchange. They have conducted a feasibility study for improvements to this interchange. They are proposing fly-ramps and an underground tunnel to connect 3000 East with the I-215 freeway. This project aims to alleviate the estimated heavy traffic in years to come and will cost around $80 million.

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