West Jordan Gears Up for Busy Construction Season with 7000 South Project
By Taylor Stevens
West Jordan - Beginning in February, a West Jordan construction project to upgrade storm drains on 7000 South has impacted residents’ daily commutes and recreational activities.
Traffic on 7000 South has been reduced to one lane in each direction from 1300 West to the Jordan River, and the city has urged drivers to expect delays of up to one hour during morning and evening commutes and to take alternate routes. The construction work will disrupt regular traffic conditions until approximately June and cause “heavy delays,” according to the city.
A section of the Jordan River Trail has also been closed between 7000 South and Winchester due to the construction, impacting residents’ access to running and biking along this portion of the trail.
Dave Murphy, engineering manager for capital improvement projects, said that the project would benefit residents in the long run, protecting District 1 from the heavy flooding that has affected the area in the past.
In addition to storm drainage improvements, the project will also improve culinary water, sanitary sewers and secondary water transmission, according to the city’s website.
“There’s no existing [pipe] link from 3200 West to the river,” Murphy said. “So we are actually putting in a new pipe that links the system all the way from the mountain side and the existing county systems. We are providing an outlet that goes from the termination point at 3200 West to the river, so we’re interconnecting every system that’s there, as well.”
According to Murphy, there was never a storm drainage outlet built for one-third of the city, creating the current need for improvements through construction.
“Being that we’ve grown so much, that has grown insufficient,” Murphy said.
Murphy said that upgrading the pipe links in this area of the city will offer residents better protection from heavy flooding during storms than they’ve had.
The construction work also “includes removing and replacing pipes under the westbound lanes and a box culvert near the Jordan River. This project will improve roadway drainage and enhance safety for drivers,” according to the city’s website.
The 7000 South construction project is divided into three phases over the next two years and will cost the city over a half million dollars, according to Murphy.
Phases two and three will be “sporadic over that entire two-year period where we’re going to have lane closures, lane shifts and out-and-out closures of some intersections,” Murphy said.
In the second phase of the project, the city will upgrade storm drain utilities from 1300 West to 1905 West; the third phase will improve 1905 West to Bangerter Highway, according to the city’s website. The city has not yet determined when exactly the second and third phases will begin and end.
Murphy said the public works department is weighing safety concerns along with mindfulness of traffic conditions for residents.
“We’ve got to accommodate as much traffic as possible,” Murphy said. “In certain respects, when we have heavy equipment working, it gets really heavy really fast, so there will be balancing traffic versus safety.”
Murphy urged residents to take safety precautions throughout the next few months and years as the project continues.
“Slow down, pay attention to the signs and please don’t speed,” Murphy said. “The [workers] are there to help you out. That’s my biggest caution is please pay attention in construction zones. When people speed through those zones, some poor guy gets a rock to the face because someone was going too fast and it flies off their tires — and it hurts.”
In addition to the 7000 South project, West Jordan has many other construction projects in the works, some of which are waiting for clearance and some that require additional research before they become official.
Some of the upcoming projects include storm drain upgrades on 7800 South, the widening of 5600 West in the fall and a new Copper Hills Marketplace on the west side of West Jordan.
Another major project the city is looking into is the possibility of constructing a new recreation center out west.
“There are minor utility projects all around the city as well,” Murphy said. “There are small projects as well for various portions of the city system. It’s a very active construction time here. Depending on what council does, there may be more building projects dropped on my group that essentially doubles my budget. It’s just overloaded this year.”