The newest segment of the Mountain View Corridor highway, located west of Salt Lake City, opened to motorists in mid-November, heralding the conclusion of the most complex section of the 35-mile, multi-phased road and trail system.
The new 2.2-mile section of roadway extends the Mountain View Corridor between 5400 South and 4100 South in West Valley City, Utah. The existing 15-mile corridor, also known as State Route 85, opened in December 2012.
The Mountain View Corridor is intended to reduce traffic congestion in one of the most rapidly growing suburban areas in the U.S. When completed, the north-south freeway will connect Interstate 80, which runs through Salt Lake County, to State Route 73 in Northern Utah County.
Although this segment was much shorter than the original section, there were several obstacles beyond the construction of 15 highway bridges and seven pedestrian bridges that made this a challenging project to design and build, including:
WSP USA partnered with HDR to lead the Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT’s) Mountain View Corridor program management team. WSP served as the lead consultant, providing project management, preliminary engineering, utility coordination, public involvement, environmental documentation, right-of-way acquisition, design-build procurement and quality oversight during construction.
“The right-of-way and utility challenges were difficult and complex, and many required years to complete,” said Ed Rock, project manager for WSP. “Solving such challenges required innovation, new approaches to engineering and solid determination.”
The program management team found an innovative way to provide those impacted by the construction with updated information throughout the planning and construction of the highway.
“Our team developed UDOT’s first interactive GIS web map to educate property owners, businesses, municipalities, and the public of both the current and future projects,” Rock said.
The project management team also organized a citizen review board to get public input and minimize the impact on the public and stakeholders. It included an opportunity to rate the contractor’s performance in meeting criteria such as safety, and impact to roadway access, schools and residences.
One of the project’s public appeals is its incorporation of a network of walking and biking trails that provide residents with alternative transportation options. The project added two miles of trails to the community, as well as seven pedestrian bridges that improve safety for trail walkers and cyclists.
“This amount of trail infrastructure is unique for a UDOT project and represents their largest investment in active transportation to date,” Rock said.
The Mountain View Corridor Program Team is using a phased approach to balance transportation needs with available funds.
“This approach, which is different from typical freeway projects, results in significantly lower impacts to the traveling public and reduced construction costs in the future, when additional lanes and interchanges are added,” Rock said.
The current roadway includes two lanes in each direction and signalized intersections. Future construction will build out the remainder of the corridor and convert those intersections into interchanges and add two additional inside lanes to create a fully functional freeway that connects Interstate 80 in Salt Lake County to State Route 73 in Utah County.
The latest section, originally budgeted at $180 million, was completed 18 days ahead of schedule and $32 million under budget.
“By using risk management tools and the design-build approach, the team reduced both schedule and budget risks that resulted in completing the project ahead of schedule with minimal change orders and a smoother construction,” Rock said.
He added that it was achieved while balancing the social, economic and sustainability needs of taxpayers, schools, municipalities, businesses and interstate utilities.
“We worked with several consultants and UDOT to successfully reduce and mitigate impacts to the public and stakeholders during construction,” Rock said. “This new segment represents more than six years of exhaustive efforts by UDOT and the program management team to prepare the corridor for final design and construction activities.”
A grand opening celebration of the Mountain View Corridor from 5400 South to 4100 South was held on Nov. 18. The project teamed with West Valley City to host an Ugly Sweater 5K Fun Run and One Mile Walk on the newly constructed roadway and trail system.
WSP’s public involvement team – Lindsay Mabry, Roxana Orellana and Amanda Kirkendall – were part of the public involvement effort that coordinated the opening event.
More than 800 participants attend the opening. “Residents and neighbors of the corridor were excited to finally get a chance to see what all of the construction the last two years had created,” Mabry said.
The new segment of the Mountain View Corridor was recently recognized with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) 2018 Engineering Excellence Award in transportation.
This latest award joins a growing list of honors that have been presented to the Mountain View Corridor project, including: