Skip to main content

South Jordan Journal

Community prepares for Bangerter Highway construction impacts

Oct 12, 2023 02:05PM ● By Rachel Aubrey

Attendees to the contractor open house had lots of maps and graphs to pour over to try to get answers about how the upcoming construction will impact the nearby communities. (Photo by Rachel Aubrey/ The City Journals)

An open house was held at South Hills Middle School on Sept. 7 to answer questions from members of the public about the impact that the Bangerter Highway project will have on traffic in the coming months. Representatives from Ralph L. Wadsworth/WWClyde, a joint venture, were on site as well as representatives from the Utah Department of Transportation. The most urgent question on most attendees minds: when will the traffic start and what will the impact be?

According to the UDOT website: “This project will construct four new freeway-style interchanges with on- and off-ramps at 2700 West, 13400 South, 9800 South and 4700 South, eliminating stoplights at four more intersections for drivers on Bangerter Highway.” 

The students and faculty at Elk Ridge Middle School and nearby Elk Meadows Elementary School in South Jordan will see impact starting in January 2024. According to Elk Ridge Principal Bryan Leggat, the pedestrian bridge that crosses Bangerter Highway at 9800 South will be taken down for an estimated 300 days. In addition to the loss of the pedestrian bridge, parking lot changes will be happening for Elk Ridge’s parents, students and staff.

“We are asking our parents to be extra patient with the school and with each other,” Leggat said. “It’s bound to be messy.”

Derek Harames, the project manager from Ralph L. Wadsworth, will be overseeing the 4700 South and 9800 South phase of the construction. He and his team are aware that in between the start and end of a project of this magnitude there will be some headache and frustration. But being in the business for more than 15 years, Harames knows first-hand how vital these projects are to the communities they serve once completed.

“We’re excited to be in the cities, to build these projects,” Harames said. “We know what it’s going to do for the cities when we’re done…the end game is totally worth it.”

The end game will be hard to focus on for Herriman residents Mandy and David Smith who have lived through the 11400 South and the 12600 South interchange construction in previous years.  They attended the open house event in anticipation of traffic becoming a “nightmare,” and wanted to know when they could expect it to start. 

“Once this starts, it’s going to be 10 months of horrible traffic,” Mandy Smith said. “And that’s going to suck.”

Beginning in the fall of 2024 and lasting until late summer of 2025, the eastbound and westbound lanes at 9800 South will be closed.

Smith said that they are not looking forward to the surrounding surface streets being packed with cars as drivers will look for alternate routes, and it may cause their family to avoid shopping at certain stores once construction starts.

Physician and business owner Dr. Mary Tipton attended the open house wanting answers, too. As part owner of the Copperview Medical Center located on the east side of 9800 South and Bangerter, she and her team have been following the updates and plans very closely. 

The medical practice is open to patients 365 days a year, seven days a week, seeing patients of all ages by way of primary care, chronic care and urgent care. Tipton’s priority is to maintain access for her patients, even as the construction phases are implemented.

“We never closed a day for the whole pandemic,” Tipton said. “We are not going to close for this.”

Tipton said that despite the plan not to close during construction, she and her team are already making patients aware of the problems they may encounter with access to the parking lot that sits right at the corner of 9800 South and Bangerter Highway. Tipton manages the practice’s social media accounts and wants to get the word out to patients to leave early to get to appointments and schedule appointments appropriately.

For the most up-to-date information, including updates to the existing traffic plans and phases, and environmental studies, members of the public are encouraged to visit  λ