SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City is almost ready to break ground on a major reconstruction of 300 West, between 900 South and 2100 South, that will make the corridor more friendly to bikes and pedestrians while adding some green space to the route.
The reconstruction will include replacing pavement and adding new sections of sidewalk, as well as bike lanes, crosswalks and park strips to separate bikes and pedestrians from vehicle traffic.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in the spring or summer of 2021 and last through 2023.
Will Becker, a transportation planner with Salt Lake City, said the section of road is "in major need of replacing."
The project will be primarily financed through the 2018 voter-approved Funding Our Future bond, which is being used for critical needs throughout the city. When planning Funding Our Future-financed projects, Becker said, "We're really looking to not just put back what's existing, in a lot of cases, but look to the future and understand how we can build something that's safer, more accessible and more welcoming."
Planning for the project began back in the summer of 2019. The city gathered feedback by conducting focus groups and online surveys, as well as asking pedestrians and business owners on the corridor about what changes they would like to see.
Now, with construction just a few months away, the city is reaching out to individual businesses to discuss how they can mitigate the inconvenient impacts of construction. "We definitely recognize that that's going to be challenging for the people who use that road, and businesses and properties along that road," Becker said.
Though Becker said the city is still "wrapping up" the final design, it's already released some details and posted a project overview to YouTube on Wednesday. Among the improvements will be a two-way cycling path to one side of the road, which will be separated from vehicle traffic by tree-lined park strips.
"One of the things we heard during our public comment period is that people would really like to have a buffer between themselves — when they're walking or cycling — and vehicle travel lanes," Becker said.
The park strips will also serve to beautify the area and add more trees to the largely industrial district, a long-stated priority of Mayor Erin Mendenhall. They will also naturally capture rainfall and be connected to improved storm drains on the street to prevent standing water in travel lanes.
Becker said large sections of sidewalk are currently missing from 300 West; the reconstruction will fill those in, too, making the area more accessible for pedestrians and those with disabilities.
"Another thing that we're looking at and considering is how this corridor is changing, from a land-use perspective," Becker said. "We're seeing a lot more large, multifamily residential developments going up, a lot of apartment buildings; and there's a lot of other businesses out there, small businesses. We recognize that this is an area that is really changing now and will continue to change in the future, and we really need to think about how this part of the city is going to be and make sure we provide those travel choices to accommodate growth here."
Becker encouraged interested locals and businesses to visit 300WestSLC.com. They can use the "Contact Us" information on the website to subscribe to a project newsletter for the latest updates. Becker said there will be a "virtual open house" in early 2021 to showcase the project.
The heavily trafficked section of 300 West that will be reconstructed is often used to access popular stores including Walmart, Target, Costco, Lowe's, The Home Depot, Sam's Club and numerous small and local businesses.