The U.S. 89 project will improve safety and mobility on U.S. 89 and at connections with local cross streets by widening U.S. 89 to three lanes in each direction; adding interchanges – bridges over U.S. 89 with on/off-ramps – at 200 North/400 North, Oak Hills Drive, Gordon Avenue and Antelope Drive; and adding bridges over U.S. 89 at Nicholls Road and Crestwood Road. The project will also improve connections between U.S. 89 and Main Street, S.R.193 and Interstate 84. Some sections of new frontage road will be constructed to improve access to existing frontage roads and local streets. This will help local traffic access the new interchanges and crossings efficiently. The frontage road system will also function as a signed bicycle route.
Why was the change made to have U.S. 89 go under the cross streets, instead of over them?
During the U.S. 89 State Environmental Study (SES), the project team received consistent feedback from nearby residents that their preference was for the highway to go underneath the cross streets. As part of the commitments made during the SES, the project team formed a Community Coordination Team (CCT) to provide input on the project. Based on input from the public and the CCT, and after conducting further engineering and on-site data gathering, the project team was able to find a cost effective and less impactful way to take U.S. 89 under the local streets.
Making this change reduces the visual impacts of the project’s walls and bridges. In addition, this change makes use of the existing topography in the project area, and will result in a savings of 85,000 truck trips during construction.
What work is currently being done?
Although the project is still in the design phase and a start date for construction has not been determined, several preliminary activities are underway along U.S. 89. Crews are drilling and conducting soil samples at future bridge locations; surveying and identifying the locations of utilities such as power, water, sewer, irrigation, petroleum, natural gas, telephone/internet, and cable; removing trees from UDOT-owned properties; and preparing to demolish UDOT-owned buildings. This work will allow the team to build the project more quickly and efficiently once the design is completed. Utility relocation work is anticipated to begin in late summer 2019 to reduce conflicts during roadway construction.
When will construction begin?
The project team is currently working on design refinements. A construction date has not been determined at this time. More information will be provided as schedules are confirmed. Sign up for project email updates by clicking here, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the U.S. 89 group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/US89DavisCounty/ and get updates in your feed.
What sound walls are planned/will I get a sound wall?
The project noise study was updated in spring 2019 to reflect the revised design with U.S. 89 crossing under the local streets. While most of the noise walls shown in earlier project phases remain in the design, a few no longer qualify. In some locations on the project we saw that when the grade of U.S. 89 was lowered, the noise fell below the policy threshold. In other locations, less people were affected, which meant that the overall cost of the wall fell outside the allowable range. Balloting for qualifying wall locations is anticipated in July 2019. View a video explaining the UDOT noise policy here.
What is being done to address the project’s impact on wildlife?
The SES identified several wildlife species that are native to the area and could be impacted by construction, or by the project once it is completed. UDOT coordinated with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) to identify their preferred approach to reducing conflicts between wildlife and vehicles on the roadway. DWR requested that 6’-8’ tall deer fencing be installed along the east side of U.S. 89 where other walls or fencing are not planned.
What kind of street lights will be installed as part of this project?
As outlined in the SES, UDOT is planning to use dark-sky lighting on the U.S. 89 project. While streetlights are required in certain locations to meet highway safety regulations, these lights are designed to shine down on the road and minimize light pollution for nearby residents.
How will the project accommodate bicycles and pedestrians?
We are coordinating with the cities to accommodate cyclists on parallel routes like the frontage roads to align with the cities’ preferences, master plans, typical road features, and maintenance plans, as well as their city-wide approaches to bike routes. At a minimum, UDOT has committed to providing a signed bike route along the east side of US-89. This will be a mix of existing and new frontage roads, and a new segment of a shared use path. Since the cities will have final maintenance responsibilities for the route, UDOT is working closely with them on the design details. Once we have more information, we’ll share it with the public.
What about the U.S 89/Interstate 84 area?
The U.S. 89 project will add a “free right”- a right-turn lane where drivers are not required to stop or merge into another lane– from eastbound I-84 to southbound U.S. 89. The project team is also looking at other minor improvements at this interchange. The interchange was not included in the U.S. 89 project because the size and complexity of those changes would have significantly exceeded the project budget.
In order to balance the area of highest transportation need with the amount of available funding, the decision was made to focus on U.S. 89 south of the I-84 interchange. UDOT is working on a study of the I-84/U.S.89 interchange to evaluate current and future traffic demand and what improvements may be needed.
How is UDOT delivering this project?
On a typical project, once the environmental study is completed, a design team will refine the concepts and develop plans detailed enough that a contractor can build them. This is where more in-depth investigation takes place to locate utilities; adjust elevations, curves, and widths; and determine optimal designs for interchanges and other features. We also ensure that the public input we received during the environmental phase is considered in design. Once the design is determined, UDOT will then select a contractor to construct the project.
In order to approach the U.S. 89 project from a right fit perspective, UDOT engaged a contractor and design team – Oak Hills Constructors – earlier in the process so that public input, contractor expertise and cost can be assessed and incorporated into the project design. This delivery method, called Progressive Design-Build, allows for a more context-sensitive solution to be developed. Learn more about the ways UDOT delivers projects in this graphic.
Why is this project needed?
Northern Davis and southern Weber counties have changed, transitioning from rural/agricultural to more residential suburban and commercial uses. Continued and projected growth is leading to increased travel demand on Davis County’s north-south routes. Currently, U.S. 89 between I-15 and I-84 is experiencing heavy traffic congestion and increased delay times.
Traffic models predict that by 2040, if U.S. 89 is left in its current configuration, the traffic volume will increase by 43%, from 37,700 to 54,000 vehicles per day. In addition, a high number of crashes are occurring that are related to speed and lane changes associated with traffic congestion. The frequency of crashes involving wildlife along this corridor is also high.
The U.S. 89: Farmington to Interstate 84 project will improve U.S. Highway 89 by addressing current and future congestion, the high crash rating and additional growth in this part of the Wasatch Front. This project reflects UDOT’s commitment to keep traffic moving now and in the future.
How will the project improve traffic flow?
Currently, U.S. 89 operates using a series of traffic signals at many of the intersections. The signals are intended to maintain some access between local streets and U.S. 89 or provide access across the highway. Due to increasing traffic volumes, these intersections have become the cause of significant traffic congestion in recent years. This congestion also exists for cross traffic moving east-west.
The U.S. 89 State Environmental Study (SES) identified several locations where grade-separated interchanges or crossings could be added to improve traffic and allow vehicles to move more freely and at consistent speeds. These grade-separated connections or crossings will also improve cross-access and between side streets and U.S. 89. In addition, eliminating traffic signals improves safety by reducing the risk of accidents.
How will the project improve safety on the corridor?
Crash rate data shows that replacing intersections with grade-separated interchanges reduces the frequency and severity of accidents. Recent statistics show that the crash rate on a road like U.S. 89 with traffic signals is 4.5 times higher than with interchanges. The rate of severe crashes is also 3.5 times higher. By removing signalized intersections and replacing them with grade-separated interchanges, the number of possible vehicle conflicts decreases substantially, resulting in fewer accidents. The project also plans to install wildlife fencing to reduce the number of wildlife related crashes.