By JULIANNE PFUNDER
The I-15 on and off-ramp closures have been delayed to make businesses and customers happy in southern Salt Lake Valley.
UDOT and Wasatch Constructors planned on closing the I-15 southbound on and off-ramps to 10600 South in early September. The closure would have been just days before the grand opening of Dillard’s at South Towne Center in Sandy. The ramps would also be closed thoughout the holiday shopping season.
The construction plans are to make the 10600 South interchange a single point urban interchange. Don Pott, General Manager of South Towne Center, said the interchange is a what the South Towne Center wants. The Center, however did not want the ramps closed for the grand opening and the holiday season.
Pott also said that UDOT was unaware of the opening of the new Dillards store. As soon as the plans were announced to South Towne Center and Sandy City, Sandy City was looking for other options.
Rick Davis, an employee of Sandy City, said, “(Sandy City) scrambled. We looked at an aerial map and found a piece of land that is being used as a UTA Park and Ride that could be used as a temporary off ramp.”
Cyndee Privitt, UDOT public relations, said, “The temporary off-ramp will be built by the first week of October. After the temporary ramp is open the southbound lanes will switch over to the northbound side and the 10600 southbound on ramp will be closed.”
According to Privitt, the 10600 South interchange was not originally part of the I-15 construction. After looking at the current traffic capacity of the interchange, it was decided that it would be over it’s capacity in five years.
Due to the temporary off-ramp, businesses should not lose customers, Pott said. South Towne Center should have a profitable holiday season.
“Our numbers were up twenty-six percent through July and we expect to see that continue,” Pott said.
According to Davis, the $45,000 temporary off ramp has not yet been funded, but the Sandy City Council is supporting the off-ramp.
“There are several options on the board. It should be wrapped up in a short while, possibly the next seven days,” Davis said.
However, construction on the off-ramp continues.
“It had to be done now, in order to be finished in conjunction with the I-15 completion date,” Privitt said.