UDOT addressing safety concerns along Tooele’s Midvalley Highway

Nov 5, 2021, 10:17 PM | Updated: Nov 6, 2021, 9:42 am

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — The new Midvalley Highway is finally open in Tooele County, but it’s also already drawing some safety concerns from drivers.

The concern is over people coming on and off the highway at what’s now called Parachute Lane.

Some drivers say that some people aren’t noticing the stop sign ahead, until the last minute.

That wide-open road is a big deal for a lot of people in Tooele County, who have long dealt with traffic out in the area.

“There’s some days that I’ll get off on (Interstate) 80, and it will take me 20/30 minutes to get just past Stansbury Park, which is only a few miles,” said Heath Hughes.

Those hopes for relief came to fruition Saturday as the new Midvalley Highway opened up, but it was met with concerns only a few hours later.

“I think a flashing stop sign would probably help a lot,” said Derick Starr.

Starr snapped that picture, where the highway and Parachute Lane intersect.

Another area driver posted a video in a local Facebook group, showing a truck almost hit a white vehicle as it passed.

“A truck that pretty much blows through the stop sign, into that lane of traffic, almost hits another car,” said Starr.

Reasons why some people are asking the Utah Department of Transportation to take a closer look at that area.

“I know that there have been at least two accidents since it opened,” said Tonya Christofferson.

On Friday, some changes were already put into place.

“In this case, we’ve added some additional signs,” said John Gleason, a UDOT spokesperson. “You know, anytime you have a new highway or new intersection, there’s a little bit of an adjustment period, too.”

Gleason said the additional warning signs and digital displays are up now in both directions, urging people to pay attention and slow down.

He said the highway was built to current safety standards, and UDOT will continue to keep an eye on how things go out in the area, hoping the road will serve as more of a solution than a problem.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback, talking about the amount of time that this is saving people in their evening commute,” said Gleason.

Some have also voiced concerns over the highway only being one lane in each direction.

Gleason said studies determined that that would be sufficient to help with the traffic in the area for now, and it’s also what fit into the budget.

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UDOT addressing safety concerns along Tooele’s Midvalley Highway