Utah approves $1.4B in new funding toward Utah County transportation projects

Single-family homes in Saratoga Springs area on Nov. 14, 2023. Utah Department of Transportation officials said Monday that $1.4 billion will be spent toward four major road projects that address the growth in northwest Utah County.

Single-family homes in Saratoga Springs area on Nov. 14, 2023. Utah Department of Transportation officials said Monday that $1.4 billion will be spent toward four major road projects that address the growth in northwest Utah County. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)


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SARATOGA SPRINGS — A large amount of Utah's growth is now centralized in northwest Utah County, and that trend isn't expected to slow down anytime soon.

As the cities that compose the area — Lehi, Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain — continue to build, Utah transportation officials are moving forward with plans to enhance the travel infrastructure to meet all the growing needs.

"(Northwest Utah County) is just exploding with new residents and businesses, and it creates a strain on the transportation system," said Rob Clayton, director of the Utah Department of Transportation's Region 3.

That's why members of the Utah Transportation Commission approved earmarks that will direct nearly $1.4 billion in new funds toward four major road projects in the region.

  • Converting 2100 North to a new Lehi freeway that will run between I-15 and the Mountain View Corridor. About $279 million was already directed to the project, but the commission directed another $275 million.
  • Adding new "flex lanes" to Pioneer Crossing — a highway that connects I-15 and Saratoga Springs —to add two additional lanes during peak travel times. Crews would also re-stripe Pioneer Crossing from Redwood Road to Mountain View Corridor to add one additional travel lane in each direction at all times. It received $77 million.
  • Extending Mountain View Corridor to state Route 73 (Cory Wride Highway) in Saratoga Springs. The project, which received $553 million, would also include new trails and trail connections for active transportation in the area.
  • Converting state Route 73 into a freeway from Mountain View Corridor to Ranches Parkway by using the frontage roads within the section. Transit, a bike lane and trail improvements would also be included in the project that received $459 million.

All four projects are in different stages of the planning process. Some projects, like the 2100 North freeway conversion, have gone through environmental impact reviews.

A map of the four Utah County projects that received funding from the Utah Transportation Commission.
A map of the four Utah County projects that received funding from the Utah Transportation Commission. (Photo: Utah Department of Transportation)

Of the four, Clayton told KSL.com that the S.R. 73 freeway project could have the most impact on residents and businesses. The project would also require some right-of-way transactions that need to be sorted out in the coming years.

Still, all of the projects could start by 2027, depending on the available money for statewide transportation projects in a given year. The Pioneer Crossing flex lanes project could begin as early as next year.

They will tack onto the work already happening in the area. Crews began work last month on a $466 million project to connect Porter Rockwell Boulevard in southern Salt Lake County to 2100 North in northern Utah County in the fast-growing Point of the Mountain region.

The new transportation projects come as Utah's growth appears to be centered within Lehi, Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain more than anywhere else in the state.

The three cities aren't just Utah's three fastest-growing communities from 2022 to 2023, they all have a commanding lead over any town or city since the 2020 census, according to new Census Bureau data released last week. It's believed that the three cities gained nearly 40,000 residents between April 1, 2020, and July 1, 2023 — about the same as Cedar City's latest population total.

Yet there's still room to grow even as the three cities have reached almost 200,000 people combined. The University of Utah's Kem C. Gardner Institute projects that Utah County could outpace Davis, Salt Lake and Weber counties by 2050. That's about the same time it anticipates Utah's population could reach 5 million people.

"I think (the transportation) projects represent the years of planning," Clayton said. "It's a significant investment; it's a recognition of all the growth that's happened, and it's possible because of all the planning that's taken place."

UDOT is also moving forward with projects that go beyond roadways.

The Utah Transportation Commission last week distributed $95 million toward the state's goal of a statewide trail network. A 2.1-mile trail from I-15 to the Utah Lakeshore Trail in Vineyard — about 10 miles southeast of Lehi — is one of the "construction-ready" plans that received funding.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com.

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