Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

November 2, 2021
Midvalley Highway done, what’s next?

The first phase of the Midvalley Highway opened early on Saturday morning. The new 4.5 mile highway departs from I-80 about five miles west of exit 99 at Lake Point and ends up at state Route 138 and Sheep Lane. The highway is designed to carry traffic to Grantsville as well as west Erda and maybe even the west side of Tooele City. 

Trucks headed for the Peterson and Ninigret Industrial Deports will use the new road along with future traffic for Josh Romney’s Lakeview Business Park. Traffic engineers with the Utah Department of Transportation claim the new highway will significantly reduce congestion at exit 99 and along state Route 36 through Lake Point.

We hope they are right.

Local leaders including the Chamber of Commerce, County Commissioners, and state Legislators are commended for their part in making the long awaited highway a reality.

But the Midvalley Highway is just the beginning of improved transportation infrastructure to help the county and its citizens accommodate growth — growth that has already happened and growth that is yet to come.

Tooele County needs to step up and initiate their proposed extension of Village Boulevard to reach the Midvalley Highway to offer a second route out of Stansbury Park. 

UDOT needs to make sure plans for the Interstate 80 eastbound auxiliary lane from SR-36 to SR-201 and the SR-201 to SR-36 extension become a reality — soon.

Traffic on the Midvalley HIghway needs to be watched and a second lane added in each direction when the traffic warrants them. We’re told funding wasn’t available for the additional lanes initially and one lane each way was better than nothing.

The additional phases for the Midvalley Highway are currently being studied and also need to be completed in the not distant future.

Yes, there are other areas in the state that are experiencing growth and have congested traffic that are competing for state transportation dollars. But we expect our local leaders to stick to their guns and lobby hard for other transportation projects for our county, just as they did for the Midvalley Highway.

As long as Tooele County is being used as a reservoir of workers to fill the needs for the state’s economic engine along the Wasatch Front, moving those workers in and out of the county in a safe and timely manner remains a financial obligation of the state.

Sure, local economic development, if planned to target the kind of jobs people are leaving the county for, can help ease the burden caused by people leaving the county during the day, but the reality is we need to continue to look at better ways to move people in and out of the county.

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