US-89


COMMUNITY, UDOT, & US-89

Many of you may have noticed signs, construction cones, and equipment in several areas along US-89 over the past several months and you are probably wondering, what’s happening? UDOT has been gathering information on utility locations, soil conditions, and infrastructure designs for the US-89 construction project.

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UDOT has also been working on organizing a team to help disseminate information, this team is referred to as a Community Coordination Team (CCT).  The responsibility of the CCT is to provide opportunities for local stakeholders to give input on the project design.  The CCT consists of 15 representatives of neighborhoods, cities, and other interests, who will help provide input on design elements such as roadway profiles, traffic-related noise, aesthetic treatments, and other matters of concern.  The members of the CCT that have an interest in the Fruit Heights area are Scott Nielson, Greg Hales, and Brandon Green.  As representatives, our goal is to provide useful information and regular updates about this project.  This information will be made available on multiple social media platforms.

UDOT has also been working on organizing a team to help disseminate information, this team is referred to as a Community Coordination Team (CCT).  The responsibility of the CCT is to provide opportunities for local stakeholders to give input on the project design.  The CCT consists of 15 representatives of neighborhoods, cities, and other interests, who will help provide input on design elements such as roadway profiles, traffic-related noise, aesthetic treatments, and other matters of concern.  The members of the CCT that have an interest in the Fruit Heights area are Scott Nielson, Greg Hales, and Brandon Green.  As representatives, our goal is to provide useful information and regular updates about this project.  This information will be made available on multiple social media platforms.

Please remember, the goal is to report information out to you, the stockholders.  We are not spokesmen for UDOT or the US-89 project, but we are community representatives.  Having the ability to effectively communicate information is important, so please don’t get angry at the messengers as we are trying to do our best to provide information and to also collect your feedback.  Any official announcements regarding the US-89 project will be made through proper UDOT channels.  We will post those announcements and links on the City website and other social media platforms.       

Design, Construction, and Scheduling

UDOT has recently completed their update to the State Environmental Study (SES).  The original plan for US-89 was to design the entire project and then select a contractor to build the designed project.  This process doesn’t allow for much flexibility and is very costly if there are unexpected changes.  UDOT is now using a new process called “Progressive Design Build” which combines the benefits of a design-build with the benefits of construction-management, including preconstruction services, and UDOT input throughout the project.  This collaborative effort provides UDOT more innovative designs and more control over the construction process, while still providing schedule, price and performance guarantees.  Once the new design is complete, it will be shared with you, the public, to get your feedback so that UDOT can develop the best design that satisfies many competing demands.    

UDOT has spent a significant amount of time designing the US-89 project, as a result the start date has been pushed back and has yet to be determined.  Once the design is closer to completion, UDOT will announce a tentative start date.  However, during this year, you might see some small utility relocation work or the demolition of some UDOT owned properties in preparation for the project.     

Information & Communication:

Scott Nielsen: boxcanyon+us89@gmail.com
Greg Hales: greghales@us89cct.org
Brandon Green: bgreen@fruitheightscity.com

A precise plan for US-89 has not yet been determined as this project is still in the design phase and there are many changes that can still occur based on several different factors.  It is possible, perhaps even likely, that UDOT may be evaluating one concept only to later abandon it due to some other factor – e.g., design isn’t feasible, costs too much, etc. Please do not be surprised if this happens. This is normal. Nothing is set in stone until the road is built (although the design will become more established as time goes on).

Design Alternatives

UDOT is considering some design alternatives that are quite a bit different than those shown in the original SES. Specifically, UDOT is looking at routing US-89 under every cross street along the entire corridor. A brief description of the three crossings that affect Fruit Heights are listed described below.  

Cherry Hill & Main street Interchange

This is the same as the SES. There is a link to a map of the SES design above. Please review it to see what is being planned at main street and Cherry Hill. 

Nicholls Road

They are looking at two significant changes at this location. First, US-89 would go under Nicholls road. Second, the section of Lloyd Road that runs north from Nicholls road would be changed to run parallel to US-89 and connect to Green Rd instead of going around the baseball diamond and crossing Bair Hollow like in the SES.

The idea of having US-89 go underneath Nicholls road was discussed as part of the SES process. It was not selected at that time because UDOT thought it would require taking out some of the homes bordering US-89 on the east. UDOT thought it would have to put anchors into the ground that would extend too far into the lots of the homes on the east side. There were also concerns with the water table and locations of utilities and petroleum pipelines.

Now that UDOT has additional data, it appears to be technically feasible to run US-89 under Nicholls road and leave Nicholls road mostly at grade (it would rise a little). It turns out the soil conditions and water table appear to be sufficient to make this a viable option.  The utilities and the pipeline are still an issue, but they are optimistic that it can be resolved.

Routing US-89 under Nicholls Rd increases the projected cost significantly.  One way to offset the increased cost is to do away with the bridge across Baer hollow and run Lloyd Rd next to US-89. Even if they didn’t route US-89 under Nicholls Rd, they would still consider running Lloyd Rd next to US-89.

Remember, this information is preliminary and is subject to change so please do not think that this is a final, settled design. 

400 N Interchange

UDOT is considering an option that would rout US-89 under 400 North. This would change the design significantly compared to the SES. The biggest change is that 400 North would be a T shape on the east side, like what it currently is, except it would be above elevated US-89. The on and off ramps would still be largely the same as they are in the SES.

One interesting aspect of this design is that routing US-89 under 400 North would likely cost less than the design in the SES. One reason for this is that the bridge required for US-89 to pass over 400 North is large and expensive compared to the bridge required for 400 North to pass over US-89.

Sound Walls

Sound wall locations have not been determined at this point but will be studied.  There is a detailed, rigorous process for determining whether an area qualifies for sound walls. That process will still apply and may result in sound walls being constructed even though US-89 goes under the cross streets.

Conclusion

The US-89 project is a big project that will affect regional and local traffic patterns, commuters, neighborhoods, and Cities.  Understanding the US-89 project and it’s impact is important  Because of the scope and size of the project, it will require patience and be a 3-4 year multi-year project If you have any feedback or suggestions about any aspect of the project, then please let me know. I know from working with UDOT so far that they would like to hear your feedback and get your input about the project. Your feedback in previous open houses and through written comments is one of