SALT LAKE CITY – A proposal to allocate up to $ 1.4 billion on a mix of road and other projects across Utah would help make traffic flow in and around Roy more smoothly.
The massive move, House Bill 433, will benefit Weber County and northern Utah in other ways as well, proponents say.
HB433, sponsored by Utah Rep. Mike Schultz, a Republican from Hooper, provides funding for improvements to the busy Interstate 15-5600 South Interchange in Roy. This is a major gateway to Hill Air Force Base and the growing Roy Innovation Center, which is taking shape nearby to support Northrop Grumman’s work with the Department of Defense’s ground-based strategic deterrent program.
“This 433 program will accelerate 5600,” said Rep. Stephen Handy, a Layton Republican.
The bill also provides funding for the expansion of 3500 West through Roy South into Davis County, where the street will be renamed 2000 West. According to Roy Mayor Bob Dandoy, the expansion at West Point would continue south to 300 North. This type of armament “has been necessary for so long,” he said, noting the heavy traffic on the north-south corridor.
Schultz said the move will also require improvements to I-15 from Farmington south to 600 north in Salt Lake City, which will benefit motorists from points further north, including Weber County. With planned upgrades to the factories for two key corridors running south from Weber County into the Farmington area, if completed, the upgrades to I-15 will continue traffic as it continues south to Salt Lake City .
The West Davis Corridor is coming to Davis County and the US 89 will receive a massive upgrade from the Weber County line through Davis County, and both will “bring more traffic to the Farmington area,” Schultz said. The modernization of I-15 south of Farmington will allow the interstate to take traffic into the capital.
HB433 received a positive 9-0 recommendation from the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee last week, and Schultz is optimistic about his outlook even as the 2021 legislature draws to a close.
“We’ll make it,” he said. It is true that the schedule for the completion of the projects described in the measure can be extended, reducing the price of 1.4 billion US dollars. However, he assumes that the project list will survive.
Many of the other provisions in HB433 call for improvements to the roads in and around Salt Lake and Utah counties, but Schultz and other proponents say they are distributing resources fairly across the state.
“We’re trying to be fair,” said Handy, who sits on the House’s Economic Development and Labor Services Committee. “We also pay attention to the state and try to be fair.”
In particular, HB433 calls for dual tracking of “strategic” sections of the FrontRunner line so that Utah Transit Authority trains can travel north and south simultaneously. That $ 200 million provision would allow trains to travel more frequently during peak hours and possibly even enable express trains between Ogden and Salt Lake City, reducing travel time between the two cities, Schultz said.
It is important to improve the FrontRunner’s ability to carry more people as the I-15 improvements are limited. “We can’t extend I-15 to all cars, so the FrontRunner will be a key component for that,” said Schultz.
According to HB433, 3500 West would be widened north from the Davis County line to where the roadway curves and becomes Midland Drive. According to Dandoy, Midland Drive would be extended further northeast to 4275 South and integrated into an already developed section of road. The 3500 West and Midland Drive sections, which are to be improved, now include one lane in each direction and one middle lane. That would be expanded to two lanes per route plus a middle lane.
From the list of projects in HB433, improvements to 5600 South in Roy West from 1900 West and the I-15 interchange to 3500 West have been deleted. During the peak tourist season, traffic growls on this section of the road, a link to the growth of West Haven and Hooper and another priority project for Roy officials.
“It breaks my heart,” said Dandoy, “that the improvements to the 5600 South must be separated from the 5600 South-I-15 project.” But, he continued, HB433 allowed forward movement.