Layton getting new I-15 crossing, officials foresee smoother traffic flow

Thursday , September 21, 2017 - 5:15 AM

TIM VANDENACK, Standard-Examiner Staff
LAYTON — Layton’s busy commercial zones, divided by Interstate 15, will be getting a new connector road, spurring business, officials hope, and easing congestion at two other I-15 crossing and access points. 
 
The Midtown Crossing, as the planned road is to be called, calls for the extension of 1425 North on the north side of Layton Hills Mall to the west across I-15 via a bridge. On the west side of the interstate, the new bridge would connect into a road to be developed south of the Kohl’s there, tying into Main Street.

RELATED: New Layton I-15 overpass planned

The corridor to be developed measures only about 0.75 miles, but officials think the $23.16 million Utah Department of Transportation project will have a major impact. Preliminary work started in early July and crews are in the midst of installing pilings to support the planned bridge over I-15, with work to be completed by April next year, according to UDOT.

“They’re thrilled about this new opportunity for access,” said Kent Andersen, deputy director of community and economic development for the city of Layton, alluding to public response. “Most people look at this as a no-brainer. It makes all the sense.”

The new road would not provide access to I-15. But it would give shoppers and others wanting to get from one side of the interstate to the other an alternative and a means to avoid the busy Hill Field Road and Antelope Drive crossing points to the south and north, respectively, which do access I-15.

“This project is all about mobility,” said UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders. “It will really help local traffic.”

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Increased mobility could encourage increased back-and-forth traffic, helping the many businesses on either side of I-15 by making it easier to get to them, Andersen expects. What’s more, the upgraded roadway is expected to draw traffic that otherwise would use Hill Field Road or Antelope Drive, with the daily vehicle count on 1425 North eventually going from 2,000 up to 7,000, relieving congestion at the two other crossing points.

Layton Hills Mall is located just east of I-15 in the area, along with numerous restaurants and, further north, the Davis Conference Center and big box outlets like Lowe’s and Target. Kohl’s, Shopko, Hobby Lobby and other locales sit on the west side of the interstate.

On the down side, Andersen has heard rumblings of discontent from some who live along Angel Street on the west side of I-15, south of Main Street. He suspects most motorists driving from the east side of I-15 to the west would likely turn from the new roadway onto busy Main Street. But some will likely continue onto Angel Street, which will connect to the new road, bringing more traffic past the homes there.

Linda Kelley, general manager of Layton Hills Mall, backs the project, saying it’ll make it easier for motorists coming to shop to get around. Though 1425 North is currently closed from Layton Hills Parkway west to Woodland Parks Drive to accommodate construction, she reported no major disruptions brought on by the ongoing work.

Here are a few other points:

  • 1425 North closed Sept. 5 and is to tentatively reopen in mid-October.
  • As part of the project, a roundabout is to be built at the 1425 North-Layton Hills Parkway intersection. Traffic is currently controlled by stop signs that give 1425 North traffic the right of way.
  • The new-and-improved 1425 North will have a lane of traffic going each direction, with a center turn lane in some sections, Andersen said.
  • 1425 North will get a facelift east to where it meets Hill Field Road. No signals are planned for the crossing, though UDOT will monitor the intersection once the project is done with a possible eye to upgrades.
  • The Hill Field Road and Antelope Drive intersections with I-15 have received improvements in recent years to address congestion, and they’ve paid off. The Hill Field Road upgrade has proven to be “a real good solution to traffic jams we used to have outside the mall,” Kelley said.
  • The city of Layton will contribute around $670,000 to the project, with UDOT providing the rest.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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