Books, financial aid, registration, and parking. There are plenty of things to worry about at the beginning of a semester. Construction shouldn’t be on this list, but it was this fall and will continue to be at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
Construction affects students coming from all directions. Michael Taylor, a sophomore majoring in biology, has to add an extra 15 minutes to his drive each way.
“That’s thirty minutes a day,” Taylor said. “That really adds up over the week. I am always worrying about being late for class on the way there. Sometimes I worry about cutting it close to work after school too.”
Taylor said it uses more of his gas and the traffic can get frustrating. “I definitely get impatient driving. It just adds stress to my day,” he said.
The construction projects up and down Redwood Road and Bangerter Highway are part of the West-East GO! project, or WEGO. The main goal of WEGO is reduced traffic congestion in and out of Taylorsville, especially during rush hours.
WEGO consists of three main projects; Bangerter intersection improvements, 5400 South flex lanes and Redwood Road intersection improvements. The intersections at Bangerter and 5400 South will have continuous flow intersections, or CFIs.
Tony Lau, the resident engineer for Utah Department of Transportation, is very excited about the continuous flow intersections.
“This is the first time the continuous flow intersection will be used in Utah,” Lau said. “We are very excited to be the first to have this innovative kind of intersection.”
The continuous flow intersection changes lanes based on traffic flow. For example, there will be more eastbound lanes in the morning and more westbound lanes in the evening. During non-peak hours, eastbound and westbound will have the same amount of lanes.
These new flex lanes are expected to make a huge impact on traffic flow in the Taylorsville area. The continuous flow intersections will be built at 5400 South and Redwood, 5400 South and Bangerter, and 4700 South and Bangerter. 4700 South and Redwood is being widened to accommodate more turn lanes.
Construction at 4700 South and Redwood is expected to be one of the first projects completed.
“All the heavy work should be done by the end of October,” said Daniel Bird, the project manager from B. Jackson Construction.
Taylor is happy to hear the heavy work will be done by October. “I hope so. I’ve started to look for shortcuts to and from school, but the traffic and construction still make me rush to class every day,” he said.
Projects at 5400 South, 6200 South, and Bangerter intersections are expected to be under construction around November or December. Next spring, there are plans for a continuous flow intersection at 5400 South and Redwood Road.
Until the construction is finished, both UDOT and B. Jackson advise students to utilize 2200 West as much as possible. Both encourage students to find other methods of transportation. However, some students feel it’s in their best interest to drive their own cars.
“It’s cheaper for me to drive, even with the discount on the UTA pass,” said student Jessica Townsend.
Aaron Crandall said he drives because taking the bus would take him an extra 45 minutes every day.
Closing lanes before 9:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m. require an extra fee be paid by the construction company. Driving to school before nine or after three will ensure that no lanes are closed, since the construction company doesn’t want to pay an extra fee. Lanes are only shut down if there is a need for it, so it is not something that will happen every day.
Once the entire WEGO project is completed, traffic flow in the entire area is said to be greatly improved and that every student’s commute will be enhanced. Until then, construction will be a part of the Taylorsville Redwood Campus commute.