UTAH

Project Director of I-15 expansion says community impacts are a last resort

Jul 7, 2023, 2:00 PM

Traffic moves along I-15 during rush hour in Salt Lake City. Rollover crash sends one to the hospit...

FILE: Traffic moves along I-15 during rush hour in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 1, 2022. Record traveling could be happening next week. Here in Utah, one of the busiest days to drive will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. (Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

(Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation is collecting information and feedback regarding their I-15 expansion plans from Farmington to Salt Lake City. 

By far, the biggest concern to the community is the effect the expansion could have on homes and businesses that neighbor the highway. Though Tiffany Pocock, UDOT project director of the expansion said encroaching into the nearby community is a last resort, UDOT can’t guarantee the highway’s neighbors won’t be affected. 

In May, UDOT released an Alternatives Development and Screenings Report addressing what the $1.6 billion project could look like. Pocock said the department will enter into a draft study further defining the project in the fall. It is expected to be completed in the spring. Through these analyses and studies, Pocock told KSL at Night that UDOT is trying to come up with a holistic approach to transportation and the future of I-15.

 

Why this corridor needs improvement

The report highlighted a few areas of concern the expansion addresses. Pocock said the aging infrastructure in the 70-mile corridor is a primary cause for change. Some of the pavement in the area, she said, is from the original construction of the interstate. 

“(We) need to repair the drainage systems, the utilities, then all of the pavement section throughout,” she explained. “We want to make sure that if we’re going to rebuild something and invest in that asset, that we are making sure that it’s compatible with the users in the future.

In addition to aging infrastructure, UDOT hopes to address growing travel demand and inadequate access for bikers and pedestrians who wish to cross I-15. 

The impact of expansion

Pocock describes I-15 as a tool for long-range transportation, but, do additional lanes take away from the use of other tools in the toolbox? Specifically, public transportation options that are better for the environment.

According to Pocock, the expansion of I-15 doesn’t necessarily create a barrier for the other transit options to run smoothly in the future. She said that UTA is performing a study on double-tracking and electrification of FrontRunner and looking at local routes for commuters. 

“Everybody wants to continue to live here and be able to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible and safely,” she said. “So that’s our aim.”

“Wherever we can, we’re going to use the right away that we have to, again, avoid as much as many impacts as we can,” she said. “But … there will likely be impacts at certain segments throughout this 70-mile corridor.” 

She said the department will have more information once the draft is complete in the spring, but in the meantime, they will try to make use of their existing rights in the area before resorting to homes and businesses.  

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

Snelgrove Ice Cream with its iconic sign at 2100 South 1300 East in Sugar House....

ELIZA PACE, KSL TV

Snelgrove Ice Cream, an iconic Salt Lake City brand, is making its comeback

Snelgrove Ice Cream is coming back. This ice cream shop was founded on 1929 by Charles Rich Snelgrove in Salt Lake City. Now, founder's granddaughter is opening back a store in St. George.

9 hours ago

Quagga mussels...

Don Brinkerhoff

Owners of non-motorized watercraft in Utah required to train on quagga mussel prevention

Before you launch your boat in Utah this summer, a new law requires you to take an online training course about the prevention of quagga mussels.

9 hours ago

New fire restrictions are now in effect in southwest Utah and northwest Arizona as "rapidly increas...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah, Arizona enact new restrictions amid ‘rapidly increasing fire danger’

New fire restrictions are now in effect in Utah and Arizona as "rapidly increasing fire danger" builds at the start of summer.

11 hours ago

police look for hit-and-run driver, image of the car, a newer model Ford Explorer SUV , shown...

Heather Peterson

SLCPD asks for help finding hit-and-run driver

Salt Lake City Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver involved in an accident last week that left a woman severely injured.

12 hours ago

'Thelma' is based on a true story where a grandma was scammed....

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Thelma’ is amazing and amusing

In this KSL Movie Show review, we talk about 'Thelma,' the amazing and amusing movie based on a true story about a grandmother being scammed.

12 hours ago

A car is filled at a gas pump in Sandy on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Utah gas prices are currently be...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

Utah gas prices below national average in time for summer season

Utah gas prices are below the national average price for gas and the prices are expected to stay that way over the summer.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Project Director of I-15 expansion says community impacts are a last resort