Salt Lake widening project could end in 2017

Salt Lake Boulevard

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A road project in Salt Lake, decades in the making, is entering its final phase.

But it could take another four years to finish the last mile.

The City has not yet decided how to widen the last part of Salt Lake Boulevard. So, it’ll take some time to finish the last phase, which could be the most expensive and most difficult part of the project.

“Well it’s pretty sad,” said Dennis Egge, resident and member of the Aliamanu/Salt Lake/Foster Village Neighborhood Board.

“I don’t think it should take long, period. I mean, I think it’s kind of sad it’s taking forever,” said Ralph Marrero, resident.

The City says it’s been nearly 20 years since it started to widen this three-mile stretch of Salt Lake Boulevard. Some residents say it’s been even longer.

“It’s costing more money with the delays,” Egge said.

So far it cost $40 million to expand the road from two lanes to four. Now, the City is working on design options for the third and final phase, one of which could cost another $60 million.

“Hopefully they finish it fast,” Marrero said.

The City says widening the last mile will take another four years because it needs to take care of utility issues. The project has already faced several setbacks.

“The first major delay came when they decided to include this project with the rail. Because the rail was supposed to come right through this road,” Egge said.

Egge says after the route for rail changed, money for the widening project had to be approved. Even though the City is now ready to finish the project, he’s concerned the final phase will be too expensive. He says the road doesn’t need to be widened that much.

“Continue the third lane where you see it at every intersection in this last mile,” Egge said.

Residents just want the City to finish the project, so this portion of Salt Lake Boulevard will be just like the rest.

“Better. More wider. Not so busy the road,” said Jun Abalos, resident.

“I think finally finishing it would help out a lot for people that live here, travel through, go to school in the area and what not,” Marrero said.

Construction could start in 2015 and wrap up in 2017.

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