Tuesday , February 20, 2018 - 5:15 AM7 comments
OGDEN — The Utah Department of Transportation has a plan to cut the line of piled up cars often seen at the intersection of 12th Street and Washington Boulevard.
Sometime this year, UDOT will begin a project to add dual left turn lanes at all four points of the 12th Street/Washington Boulevard intersection.
On Friday, the Utah Transportation Commission approved adding $580,000 to the project, bringing its cost to $2.5 million. UDOT Finance Director Bill Lawrence said the funding infusion was necessary because costs associated with acquiring right-of-way and moving utilities are more expensive than what was initially planned for.
The state will not be taking properties outright, but will have to purchase some right-of-way to widen 12th Street and Washington Boulevard.
UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said the left turn lanes at all directions of the intersection have been experiencing increased congestion, especially during peak commute times in the morning and evening.
“This (project) will help alleviate that congestion during those peak commute times and open up traffic flow throughout the rest of the day,” Saunders said.
According to traffic statistics provided by UDOT, an average of about 24,000 vehicles passed through the intersection daily in 2016. The number represents a increase of more than 3,000 from just two years prior, when in 2014 daily traffic at the intersection was just under 20,000.
In 2016, the only 12th Street location busier than the intersection with Washington Boulevard was near the Interstate 15 Interchange. Aside from the freeway traffic, 12th Street is also used by motorists to access recreation opportunities in the Upper Ogden Valley and it’s the main entry point into the Business Depot Ogden, a business park with more than 6,200 employees.
Mayor Mike Caldwell said the project will help reduce congestion near one of Ogden’s busiest commercial areas. The mayor said the city reviewed UDOT’s plan, but the project wasn’t one the city requested.
“UDOT has known that’s been a pinch-point for a long time,” Caldwell said. “We’ve looked at the plan and it should clear up some of the congestion, but UDOT is driving the project.”
You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/MitchShaw.StandardExaminer.
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