Ready for more Bangerter overpass projects?Jan 25, 2022 01:49PM ● By Justin Adams
The intersections of 9800 S and 13400 S (pictured here) are the next in line to be upgraded to freeway-style interchanges. (Justin Adams/City Journals)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Residents of the southwest part of the valley are surely eager to see the construction projects along Bangerter Highway at 12600 South and 10600 South near their completion. But don’t hold your breath, because the Utah Department of Transportation is setting its sights on two more intersections in this corner of the valley: 13400 South and 9800 South.
The projects are part of a broader effort by UDOT to upgrade Bangerter Highway by replacing intersections with overpasses and on- and off-ramps. Without the need to stop at traffic lights along the highway, drivers along Bangerter Highway are already saving an average of eight minutes on their commutes (and that’s even before the completion of the 12600 South and 10600 South interchanges).
Of course, the benefits of upgrading to these freeway-style interchanges come after a year of construction-related headaches. The projects generally necessitate the closing of east-west traffic along the road in question, causing drivers to take detours and alternate routes.
The Journals also reported last year how the project at 12600 South impacted local businesses. One coffee shop on the west side of Bangerter lost about half of its business as a result of the construction project.
Another potential impact for local businesses is needing to relocate. A Texas Roadhouse, for example, previously located near the 12600 South intersection had to move to a new location in South Jordan because it fell within the right-of-way for the project.
While the 13400 South project mostly consists of ‘partial acquisitions,’ of neighboring property, the project at 9800 South projects multiple businesses and even some residential properties having to be relocated.
According to the State Environmental Study for 9800 South, the project would require the purchase of 10 residential properties, as well as the acquisition of three business buildings, which would result in a total of 11 businesses having to relocate. All those businesses are located to the northwest of the current intersection.
On Jan. 26, UDOT is scheduled to hold a public hearing for the project at Elk Ridge Middle School, as well as an online meeting the following day.
If Facebook comments are any indication of public sentiment, many South Jordan residents aren’t convinced that the project is necessary, or worth the cost of relocating businesses and homes. On a post by South Jordan City informing residents of the public hearing, many people voiced the opinion that it might be better to simply close the 9800 South intersection to east-west traffic permanently rather than build a freeway-style interchange.
Interested parties can also submit an online comment to UDOT by visiting the project’s web page at udot.utah.gov/bangerter9800south. Comments can also be submitted for the 13400 South project at udot.utah.gov/bangerter13400south.
The public hearing for the 13400 South project was held on Jan. 19 at South Hills Middle School. For that project, UDOT is considering three different options.
One would have Bangerter pass under 13400 South, similar to the interchange at 11400 South. That would require a significant amount of underground utilities to be rerouted, which would increase the total cost for the project by $22 million.
Another option would be to have Bangerter pass over 13400 South, similar to the interchanges for Redwood Road or 9000 S. That would be the cheapest option, with a price tag of $99 million.
The third option is a hybrid between the two, in which 13400 South would be lowered so Bangerter could pass over it. This is the design that the new 12600 South interchange utilizes.
In any case, residents will have a little bit of a break before they have to deal with detours once again. According to UDOT project manager Brian Allen, construction isn’t expected to begin until 2023. Similar to the projects for 12600 South and 10600 South, construction could last nine to 12 months.