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Valley View Highway Is Unsafe, UDOT Says

  The Utah Department of Transportation says Valley View Highway, which runs between Logan and Riverside, doesn’t meet current requirements for safety standards. As a result, the road has an above-average number of crashes.

Jeffrey Gilbert, a planner at the Metropolitan Planning Organization, said there have been many serious accidents on the road that have attracted national attention.

“Run-off-the-road type crashes were higher than normal,” Gilbert said. “There’s been a number of pretty high-profile crashes that have impacted families in the valley.”

UDOT conducted a year-long study and found that the highway has inappropriate turn lanes into large businesses and doesn’t meet requirements for roadway shoulders. Gilbert said the lack of shoulders is dangerous because law enforcement can’t properly patrol the area and there’s little room for drivers to pull over during bad weather.

“I don’t think it surprised them,” Gilbert said. “Most of us are kind of aware of the difficulties. The road section is pretty narrow. There isn’t a lot of margin of error with the shoulder. So there’s a recognition of the need to address some of those safety issues.”

Gilbert said the road is important because it’s the direct road from Riverside to I-15, and it’s an alternative to Sardine Canyon - a well-traveled road through the canyon from Brigham City to Cache Valley that can become dangerous during the winter.

“It’s probably, second to Sardine Canyon, our most important corridor,” Gilbert said. “It’s one of our primary evacuation routes. And sometimes Sardine Canyon can suffer from weather issues. So from an economic, a freight-movement point of view and a safety point of view -- that, I think, is driving the interest in this project.”

But UDOT isn’t fixing the issues right away. First, the organization will conduct an environmental study. Gilbert says the study could take nearly two years. Money for road construction has not yet been acquired, but Gilbert believes that UDOT will have no problem getting funding.