UDOT issued a Record of Decision (ROD) regarding the selection of the braided ramps as the preferred alternative out of several design options. This design will include improvements to the existing interchanges at Main Street; a new interchange approximately 0.7 miles to the northeast; a new five-lane arterial road (Nebo Beltway) connecting the new interchange to S.R. 198; braided ramps connecting the Main Street and Nebo Beltway interchanges (i.e., ramps that cross over each other); and the widening of Main Street to five lanes at the interchange and tapered to its current configuration south of 600 North.
This alternative design was chosen over other options as it would result in the lowest daily traffic delay in the area of study, according to the ROD. The option also received the most community support, as it left cultural landmarks in the area untouched, including historic homes on Main Street. UDOT has prepared an environmental impact statement to evaluate the interchange at Main Street and I-15.
The braided ramps were selected after considering traffic operations and social and economic impacts. Another option would have made a less significant environmental impact on wetlands, but would have relocated the interchange from Main Street, which could have unintended consequences economically and socially by reducing traffic volume to the businesses on Main Street, according to the ROD.
The purpose of the project is to improve traffic congestion and accommodate future travel demand. Currently, this project is not funded for final design or construction. The ROD does provides the opportunity for local government entities to plan for future improvements. Once funding is available, UDOT can move forward with final design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction.
Source: Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) / Utah DOT