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HYRUM, Utah (AP) -- A wider State Route 165 is expected to help tie together the communities that comprise the Cache Valley.
"It used to be as if Hyrum was in a different country on a different continent after you leave Nibley," said Jim Gass, executive director of the Cache Metropolitan Planning Organization. "But now it feels like Hyrum is tied to the rest of the community."
The $4.2 million widening project between Nibley and Hyrum, about three miles apart, was dedicated Friday.
The road was reconstructed and widened between Canyon View Drive in Hyrum and the Nibley City limits.
It now include two lanes in each direction, a center turn median and wider shoulders.
Additional improvements included drainage and landscaping enhancements, wetland mitigation, intersection safety improvements at 4600 S. and Johnson Road and new curb, gutter and sidewalk within Hyrum City limits.
Transportation Commissioner Stephen Bodily of Lewiston said the wider road make Hyrum more accessible to Cache County residents.
The road that connects Logan to Paradise had previously been widened to four lanes as far as Nibley.
The road then narrowed to two lanes for most of the remaining stretch into Paradise. The Utah Department of Transportation had long planned to improve the next few miles into Hyrum, but lack of funding prevented the project from moving forward.
The completed project takes UDOT one step closer to completing plans for the entire north-south corridor.
The final step is to widen Highway 91 between Smithfield and Preston, Bodily said.
That project has also been long in the making, and UDOT plans to take bids for the 11-mile stretch in November.
Construction should begin next spring and last for two road-construction seasons.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)