What Does the Future of Utah's Infrastructure Look Like?
With the long-stretching corridor that I-15 provides for Utah’s population, construction is almost guaranteed somewhere along that interstate desert highway. On the surface, it is an inconvenience, to say the least, and a hazard if drivers don’t take certain precautions.
All that aside, the future of Utah’s infrastructure is bright! Let’s take a look.
A Booming Economy
The I-15 corridor and connecting highways have become essential to the success of the state’s economy. With the slow and sudden growth of tech start-ups within Silicon Slopes (in 2021 alone), Utah has grown significantly. In a recent analysis from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Forbes magazine ranked the Beehive State as No. 1 with the biggest GDP growth rate in the nation. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Utah saw an annual average growth rate of $168.62 billion, making Utah’s economy one that bounced back faster than any other state.
Construction Ramping Up
With all the rapid growth, Utah’s infrastructure has managed to keep up rather well. As 2021 closes and we move into 2022, we’re looking at 185 projects costing $3.45 billion. UDOT is doing everything (working alongside various construction companies) to minimize inconvenience while not compromising worker and driver safety.
From repaving and updating rural highways and freeway-style interchanges to widening interstates and tearing down/rebuilding bridges, you can expect overnight lane restrictions, full road closures, and significant detours to result from these major projects. This is to connect Utah communities and keep up with the strong economy.
Major UDOT Projects
Salt Lake County
- Bangerter Highway: Three major interchanges and several infrastructure updates will be held at 6200 S., 10400 S., 12600 S., and 3600 S. at an estimated $221 million.
- I-80 and I-215 recurring infrastructure improvements will be made at an estimated $146.5 million.
- I-15 Express Lanes: In both Davis and Weber counties, the express lanes will widen and extend on I-15 from Layton Parkway to Riverdale Road, including widened bridges, repaving, and infrastructure at an estimated $163 million.
- I-15 Bridge Ride Fix in American Fork (Northbound): Utah County, $4.1 million: Three bridges will be repaired along the northbound I-15 between the 500 East and Main Street interchanges in American Fork at an estimated $4.1 million.
- 2100 North Lehi: Repavement of 2100 North in Lehi – Redwood Road to Thanksgiving Way – at an estimated $3.4 million.
- S.R. 92 – Alpine Loop (American Fork Canyon Seasonal Gate to U.S. 189 in Provo Canyon): The Alpine Loop, from the Pine Hollow Trailhead to U.S. 189 in Provo Canyon, will get resurfaced at an estimated $1 million.
Safety on the Desert Highways
As these UDOT projects continue, safety is paramount as drivers and workers occupy the interstates and highways.
From work zone crash cushion barriers to more permanent impact attenuators, quality highway barriers can protect workers from errant drivers and minimize damage to vehicles and drivers.
Utah Highway Signs
Effective placement and high-quality, reflective signs can ensure roadway construction conditions are properly communicated. With constant variations in traffic patterns, especially during night driving and working conditions, both drivers and workers need effective retroreflective signs.
As lanes shift to accommodate more intensive projects on highways, it is vital to maintain lane safety and integrity. Once traffic patterns return to normal, proper pavement markings can mean all the difference.
Interwest Safety Supply
For over 40 years, we’ve made it our mission to provide quality construction and roadway safety products at Interwest Safety Supply. For several years, we have proudly served a variety of customers, including both the U.S. and State Department of Transportations, road contractors, general contractors, small sign manufacturers, municipalities, airports, schools, universities, law enforcement, rental companies, and many within the private industry.