By Mayor Trent Staggs
For the last twenty years, Riverton and the southwest corner of Salt Lake County have accounted for approximately 70% of all the population growth in the county. However, the infrastructure needed to keep up with this growth has not kept pace. In an effort to create a single, unified voice, I partnered with elected officials from the communities of Bluffdale, Copperton, Herriman, Riverton, South Jordan and West Jordan to create the Southwest Mayor’s Coalition. Over the last three years, we have worked tirelessly to lobby our state, local and community leaders to better recognize the extensive growth taking place in the southwest region and to push for the transportation and infrastructure funding that we desperately need.
These last three years of strategic collaboration have been successful as state and county leaders are beginning to take notice of our needs and are working to ensure funds are appropriated to help us manage our growth. This year we have seen freeway style interchanges being constructed at 12600 S, 10400 S and 6200 S and Bangerter. And over the past couple of years, Riverton has received millions of dollars in other state appropriations for key roadways in our city. This 2021 Utah Legislative Session saw even more significant investments to infrastructure, thanks in large part to our local legislators, Senator Dan McCay, Representative Candice Pierucci and Representative Mark Strong. Riverton will now be the beneficiary of a $75 million project for the construction of a freeway style interchange at Bangerter Highway and 13400 S. In addition, with the passing of H.B. 244, Riverton will be receiving $700,000 every year for fifteen years for "...priority projects to mitigate congestion and improve transportation safety”.
I am also excited to announce that the Southwest Visioning Study was completed in March. This in-depth study will provide data-driven solutions to effectively identify regional transportation needs. With this critical information, we can more appropriately respond and plan for additional growth in our area.
More work is still needed to fully transition Bangerter Highway into a freeway, but we have made significant strides and could now be in a position to finish this in the next 5-7 years. Once finished, UDOT projections show commute times and connectivity will dramatically improve not just in the north-south direction, but also east-west. The widening and completion of Mountain View Corridor is an essential project that will also need funding. This will only get done through increased collaboration and maintaining and improving relationships with other government and community partners. With a united voice, we can find solutions to our toughest challenges and ensure we improve the quality of life for our current and future residents.