PROVO — Residents in Provo will soon have an easier time getting to the city's airport.
While a new road will be a welcome addition to and from the airport, it will also benefit the entire west side of Provo. The Utah Department of Transportation and Provo City broke ground on the new Provo Westside Connector Thursday.
The new road is about 3.7 miles long and will connect Interstate 15 at the 1860 South/University Avenue exit to 3110 West, which is near the entrance of the Provo Airport.
“It has already been found to be quite convenient for people who are flying out of here with the limited locations that are there,” Utah County Commissioner Larry Ellertson said. “We expect that to expand.”
The Provo Westside Connector will have five lanes and shoulders from the I-15 interchange to the 500 West intersection, and two lanes and shoulders from 500 West to 3110 West. Roadway connections will be placed at 500 West, 1100 West, and Mike Jense Parkway.
Some additional features include new traffic signals at the interchange ramps and 500 West and a new multi-use trail extending from the interchange to Mike Jense Parkway.
“It will make it a lot easier to get to the airport, but it’s bigger than that,” Provo Mayor John Curtis said. “It’s economy development. It’s access for all these residents, another way to cross the freeway. There’s very few options to cross the freeway in this part of the city, and the trail; all those things are a big part of this road.”
Construction will begin this month and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015. The $39 million project is being paid with state and local funds.
"Most of the money is coming from what was left over on the I-15 project and the Mountainland Association of Governments and state funds," Curtis said.
Federal funds were used to deal with the wetlands issues, he said.
Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc