Pioneer Crossing Extension/Cory Wride Memorial Highway Connection

Many have been actively discussing the changes that were made to Cory Wride Memorial Highway (SR-73) over the weekend. The City did not receive a project update notifying us of plans to open the Pioneer Crossing Extension connection to Cory Wride Memorial Highway and divert traffic there. Understandably, residents have been frustrated by this abrupt transition. There also seems to be some confusion about the design and future plans for this connection, so I’d like to provide some background.

The Pioneer Crossing Extension project was planned in concept many years ago. In 2011, in the early stages of the project, the City sent a letter to UDOT protesting the design plan as having a negative impact on Eagle Mountain residents, specifically related to traveling to and from the Salt Lake Valley, because of the forced diversion from SR-73 onto Pioneer Crossing. The City continued to protest this design plan throughout the process, however no changes have been made. Maps and diagrams of the final project design are posted on the City website, along with contact information for UDOT.

Shortly after I took office, on January 23rd of this year, UDOT held an open house at Westlake High School which I attended and voiced my concerns with the project manager. I scheduled an appointment to speak to the UDOT Region 3 director and voiced my concerns again.

The long-term plan is that Mountain View Corridor will connect 2100 North to Cory Wride Memorial Highway. No state funding has been allocated for this project so it is at least several years out. However, I have been communicating Eagle Mountain’s needs to UDOT, and I will continue to do so. Though I am not thrilled with the realignment as it is today, I do believe the long term vision of what this connection offers will be beneficial.

UDOT will be sending an engineer out to look at the signal timing with the intent to reduce the queuing that commuters are experiencing in the morning and evening hours.  I will continue to work with UDOT to improve not only this situation, but our transportation infrastructure as a whole.

With improvements to our transportation options in this area, we are far better off than we have ever been, whether we are traveling north or south to commute to work. I made the trek from Eagle Mountain to the International Center West of SLC International Airport for over six years. During that time, I have seen 2100 North open, Pioneer Crossing open, the widening of Redwood road from two lanes to four all the way out to Bangerter, the widening of SR-73 from two lanes to four, the construction of the intersection at SR-73 and Redwood Road, and the widening of Redwood road From SR-73 to Pony Express. And there are more to come…

Upcoming transportation projects:

A UDOT project to widen Pony Express Parkway in Saratoga Springs from 800 West to Redwood road is slated to begin construction in spring of 2015, with completion by fall of 2015. This project will provide a turn lane into Vista Heights Middle School, as well as a traffic signal at Thunder Blvd. (entrance to Westlake High School).

The MAG Technical Committee and the Regional Planning Committee have voted to approve the funding list for the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program). The City’s Pony Express Parkway project (widening to include a center turn lane and two 5-foot bike lanes from Porter’s Crossing to 800 West in Saratoga) was approved for $3.589 million in funding in federal fiscal year 2016 (beginning October 2015). We feel pretty good about that timeline, as a majority of the projects are scheduled for 2017 or 2018.

We are also working with UDOT on a signal for Sunset Drive & Cory Wride Memorial Highway. The process is very early and we do not yet have an estimated time of completion.

23 thoughts on “Pioneer Crossing Extension/Cory Wride Memorial Highway Connection

  1. Mayor, I think the frustration from people is the clarification if 73 is going to be blocked completely off. In some pictures it looks as if it will be still open and others not.

    • Jessica, SR-73 will be cut off and the current route for traffic heading West from Redwood Rd. will be directed on to this new roadway just as it is today. This is the reason for my frustration as well. My expectation is that some of the traffic congestion we are currently experiencing from evening commuter traffic will be alleviated through signal timing, and the opening of all lanes as the extension is completed. My fear is that it will not improve drastically, though I am not an engineer. I have personally voiced my concerns with UDOT on multiple occasions, and I know I am not the only one to have done so. If it doesn’t improve, we will see what the next step is. Either way, I will continue to be an advocate.

  2. I think a light at Thunder Blvd on Pony will be a bad idea. I’ve seen the light on Redwood/Pony get so backed up it will only create headaches to have a second stop so close. Yes, a light will be helpful during school rush times (school day mornings, mid afternoons, and football Fridays) but I think there are better ways to handle it. I’d be for a median there that doesn’t allow left turning at that intersection. It isn’t that much further to go around to the lights already installed, and it won’t create the backup having to stop again so close to Redwood.

    • I disagree, having the light will make the area as a whole less congested. Something has to be done there. I would suggest a round-about, but let’s face it too many adults can’t figure them out, and this are is full of kids barely getting their licenses, so that would be a disaster. Saying that it’s just as easy to go around the other way is pretty much the same as telling everyone complaining about the new SR73 diversion that’s is just a small diversion and it’s not much further to go that way.

  3. It would be really nice if they could keep the SR-73 portion of the road, at least until they get funding to put in the Mtn. View Corridor extension. Even when the lanes are finished and all of the lights are in and configured right, I’m sure it will still be less ideal than before, when you’re trying to go straight to Walmart or north on Redwood Rd. It really only benefits those commuting south. The way this is configured kind of reminds me of the awful changes they made to Draper with all of those U-turns. I avoid that place at all costs.

    • Jason,

      Your suggestion is one that I have personally brought up with UDOT. There are multiple reasons why they declined to keep that section of 73 open, though I’m not sure it matters. I believe I saw workers removing sections of the road this morning.

  4. Hoping to see the funding in place for MVC sooner than later. Truly hope that those in power understand our need and our frustration over this realignment being done ahead of the connection to MVC to be able to help those commuting to the North and North East.

    • Janae, I understand your frustrations and I share them with you. Though the conversations with UDOT aren’t necessarily seen by the public, we have been working and will continue to work with UDOT to make Eagle Mountain’s needs known. No matter what the impact of the completed Pioneer Crossing realignment project happens to be, I will continue to work to move Mountain View Corridor up on the list .

  5. As a new resident of Eagle Mountain I was happy to see the connection to Pioneer Crossing taking place. However, I was unaware of the implications to SR-73 until now. The new construction as it is currently is configured, I think, will have long term negative effects on nearby business, north bound commuters, and ultimately home values of Eagle Mountain. For me the biggest downside to Eagle Mountain is location. Putting up additional barriers and added commute times will only further detract new residents and businesses from coming to Eagle Mountain. Anyone going south bound will benefit greatly from this new construction, but with the majority of employment opportunities in Utah lying north of American Fork future Eagle Mountain home buyers or renters will have another reason to think of moving somewhere else. I appreciate the mayor voicing concerns and working with Udot, and I would like more information on how Eagle Mountain residents can help bring about future changes to this problem.

  6. Concerned Resident,

    While I am frustrated at these changes, I am cautious to not allow my frustration to override my restraint. While I believe that this design will have a negative lasting impact on the traffic flow for Eagle Mountain, I must leave room for the possibility that the engineers may have indeed gotten it right. I know the traffic flow does not operate well right now, and while I don’t expect to see vast improvements to the westbound traffic in the evenings, I know that the Eastbound traffic will flow better than it is currently. My hope is that by the end of the project when all of the cones and markers have been removed, that this design will work well. While I am not overly optimistic of this, I must acknowledge that it is possible that I am wrong and the engineers were right all along. For now I will be patient and let UDOT work this out. Either way, UDOT is aware of the issues and they are working to find solutions through traffic light timing and eventually opening up the remainder of the roadway. We will see!

  7. My husband commutes to West Jordan every day, using MVC. When we were looking for a home to buy, we looked in the Salt Lake Valley, but SL’s property taxes are higher than Utah county’s, so we decided to move as far north in Utah county as we could to save money ~ and here we are! Sadly, this change has increased his total travel time a half an hour, at best. It looks as if it will be years before the MVC connects, so now we are in a dilemma. Do we stay and wait this out, and hope for the best? Or move closer to his work, saving both time and money, therefore equaling out the increased property taxes that would come with a home in the SL valley.
    Usually a major road change is designed to help traffic congestion, not increase it. How very frustrating for the citizens of Eagle Mountain. I’m at a loss as to why UDOT didn’t listen to the concerns of the EM residents, or stay in contact with the Mayor or City Administrator regarding the future plans? The letter that was sent was very clear how the city felt. With EM being one of the fastest growing cities in the state, UDOT had to look at this map and realize this would be an issue for EM. Although I don’t believe most citizens will leave EM, it will be a tough sell for incoming residents.
    Thank you for staying on top of this Mayor.

    • JMLM,

      I am hopeful and maybe even “just shy of confident” that the traffic leaving Eagle Mountain in the morning will not be as greatly impacted as residents are expecting once this project is finished. The traffic traveling East will be more free flowing when the lanes open up and that should relieve much of the traffic we are currently experiencing. If this finished project does not result in smoother flowing traffic, I certainly won’t wait until MVC comes in before seeking solutions. As for now, I’m going to keep talking to UDOT and see if we can’t get this project completed sooner rather than later. For what it’s worth.

  8. Instead of using UDOT as some acronym without a face, please post names and contact information of who and how we can inundate with communication our extreme frustrations as to why these horrible transportation engineering decisions were made. Mayor, I understand to a degree that you are giving UDOT (soon to be faceless :-)) the benefit of the doubt that their crummy looking design may eventually make sense, but you don’t need to be an engineer to understand this is beyond not being in our best interest on all accounts, even long term. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, IT’s A DUCK. This will be like water flowing down hill. It will always find the quickest path. Traffic will eventually spill over into Saratoga neighborhoods north of 73 once commuters realize that going all the way to Pioneer takes longer than cutting through back roads, and will inevitably cause their residents to be as irate as we are when their kids no longer can play safely in the area because of all the traffic. This decision is simply disregard for Eagle Mountain residents public opinion on what dramatically effects our everyday life. Thanks for voicing your frustration on our behalf, but surely there are other state elected officials who may want to stay elected, and who have more direct influence on UDOT than you do that we can put pressure on to hope to begin to change a poor decision before millions of dollars go down the drain. I have generally accepted the fact that our Federal government wastes millions and billions of dollars all the time, but I expect our state to be more frugal with tax payer money and not literally build roads to nowhere. Please help us know who to contact at the state level so we can make our voices heard. Thanks

    • Brad, I couldn’t agree more! I for one am astounded at the sheer lack of involvement we had with making this decision that literally only affects the few hundred homes west of 800 W in Saratoga and ALL, that’s right, ALL of Eagle Mountain . I have also noticed there has been no mention of the absolutely ridiculous curve in that road that has now put myself, my children and the majority of Eagle Mountain residents in danger of accident and injury when we enter the coming winter months. SR-73 is notoriously the most dangerous road out to our city and “UDOT” has actually managed to make it worse! I like Brad have already discovered the work around for this cotastrophe and while I drove home this morning during my 1 of 4 daily trips to North East and back, I couldn’t help but feel worse for those poor kids and parents who now have to worry about there children be ran over by someone late to work. Maybe when they realize the problem this is causing for Saratoga residents something will be done. Cleary the issues of us poor Eagle Mountainers have fallen on deaf ears!

  9. Mayor Pengra,
    First, I applaud your efforts in regards to the Pioneer Crossing intersection.
    Since it is early, I would like to express a concern about one of the future projects you listed, and that is a stop light at Sunset Drive and SR-73. I live in City Center and to get to the other side of the Lake Mountains we have two options. We have to drive longer on SR-73 through three stop signs and three lights (soon to be four) to get to Redwood Road. I prefer that greatly to having to use Pony Express where you have to go through seven stop signs (the new one at Frontier MS is a joke), two school zones and one light (with another in the works).
    I think that having two exits from City Center is great and I like to count my blessings, but by putting another light in what is normally a very free moving road does not make sense. Isn’t the new Ranches Parkway extension meant to provide an outlet to those neighborhoods?
    Perhaps I am overlooking something that you may shed some light on.

    • Let me clarify my previous reply. Mayor I also appreciate what you have been doing for this city. You are so involved and do a great job of keeping us informed. It is just frustrating that we as a city don’t hold much weight with “UDOT.” And I, like Brad, would like to know who we can hold accountable?

    • I believe the light at Sunset and Cory Wride SR 73 is to help provide a school crossing for those traveling from the south to the new Elementary school on the North side of the highway. This is a safety issue more than anything.

  10. On the subject of Pony Express and Redwood Road, I, too, welcome the expansion and addition of the center turning lane, (I was nearly rear-ended this morning). I think the light will be overkill.

    If we’re going to be making changes, would it be possible to get a dedicated right turn lane on to Redwood Road? Not sure of the traffic volume, but it would also alleviate some of the backup on Pony Express.

    • AM – try saying that anyone trying to anyone trying to turn onto Pony Express from Thunder Blvd in the morning or afternoon. Left turns are ridiculous, and right turns aren’t much better because of the curve of the road. Try driving around down there at 7:30 am each morning and tell me again that it’s overkill.

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