LOCAL NEWS

‘Salt Lakers are collectively sighing with relief’: 2 major SLC road projects end

Jul 28, 2023, 8:11 PM

322 West looking south between 900 and 2100 South...

322 West looking south between 900 and 2100 South is pictured on Friday. The project to improve the street from 2100 South to 900 South ended this month. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Construction crews have finally completed a project to enhance a section of a major street in Salt Lake City after a little more than two years of travel headaches.

Salt Lake City officials say the project to improve 300 West from 2100 South to 900 South wrapped up this month. Construction crews also completed the first part of a project to enhance 900 South, making major repairs from 900 West to 200 East. Both projects began in 2021 before facing major disruptions that led to delays for each project.

“I know Salt Lakers are collectively sighing with relief,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement Thursday, adding that she thanks residents for being “incredibly patient” with the roadway reconstruction. “The repairs and improvements have been necessary to handle demand and increased active transportation so it can serve residents for decades to come.”

Both projects were outlined in the Funding Our Future bond, which city residents voted to approve in 2018 to help the city pay for road improvement projects throughout the city. Each completed section focused on replacing the aging roadway within the Ballpark, Central Ninth and Granary District areas of the city, while adding new multi-use pathways and sidewalks for bikers and pedestrians.

900 South traffic

Traffic moves on 900 South looking East from 300 West on Friday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

The projects also brought some new mid-block walkways, repairs to drainage and connections to transit, as well as 200 new trees and more water-wise landscaping in the project areas.

But both projects also went awry soon after construction began. For instance, the 300 West project was originally estimated to be completed by the fall of 2022, not halfway through 2023. Salt Lake City transportation director Jon Larsen explained last year that labor and supply chain issues delayed construction timelines almost immediately.

These same issues extended out projects all over the region. The Utah Department of Transportation, for example, began work to improve I-80 and I-215 in Salt Lake City and other parts of eastern Salt Lake County in 2021. That project was also initially expected to be completed by now, but may wrap up at the end of this year instead because of similar delays.

Salt Lake City Council Chairman Darin Mano said Thursday that the long construction process was “hard for businesses.” Many new restaurants and bars have opened within both project areas in recent years, especially in the completed portion of the 900 South project.

For instance, the owners of Salt Lake City’s first zero-proof bar, Curiosity (145 E. 900 South), posted on social media last week that their business is “in survival mode” and may close down because sales dropped in recent months, which they say began as construction tore up the roads and sidewalks outside of the business.

With at least a portion of the 900 South project now complete, Mano said he hopes impacted businesses will bring in customers again.

“We hope people will take the time to come back and support their local businesses now that the improvements are complete,” he said in a statement. “These streets are now safer and more welcoming for everyone.”

However, there are other major road projects happening in Salt Lake City this summer.

 

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‘Salt Lakers are collectively sighing with relief’: 2 major SLC road projects end