UDOT to remove southbound I-15 lane split at Riverdale
Oct 18, 2021, 7:52 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2021, 9:31 am
WEBER COUNTY, Utah — Commuters in Weber County can expect a big change on their commute south Thursday morning.
After about two years of lane splits up there, the Utah Department of Transportation is ready to reopen part of southbound Interstate 15.
To know it is to dislike it, but some would say that’s putting it mildly.
“Every night we come home, we take the back roads, just to avoid getting on the freeway for that reason,” said Mike Hennessy.
Yet we all know it’s a necessary part of the process, if we want that additional lane.
“It’s just always stacked up, backed up, and so it would be good if it gets open,” said Hennessy.
Early Thursday, drivers will start to get that wish.
“It will be three lanes open to traffic, and those lane splits that people have been seeing for, since the project began, really, are going to be gone,” said Mitch Shaw.
Shaw, UDOT spokesperson for Region One, said the $163 million project — that will give Utah 82 miles of continuous express lanes, making it the largest in the country — is getting closer to the end.
“The express lane won’t be open quite yet. That will come a few months later,” he said.
The lane split on the northbound side will remain for about a couple of months, but to hear it’s opening up on one side — it’s a relief to a lot of people.
“I am glad to see it being taken down because it seems like a lot of people get a little confused,” said Amy Berry.
“To have it open is great,” said Pam Hennessy. “I will be glad when it’s all completely done.”
Hennessy said she and her husband have been trying to avoid it completely over the past two years, taking side roads, like 1900 West, instead.
“Undoubtedly, you’re going to get in congested traffic, whichever road you’re on,” she said.
But if all goes as planned, things will be very different Thursday morning. Granted, there will still be construction in the area.
“It’s a milestone,” said Shaw. “It’s not completely done yet, but it’s a significant milestone.”
The plan is to have it all done by the end of the year.
Crews initially planned to remove the split Monday night but had to postpone work due to heavy rain and winter weather that slammed into northern Utah.