HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The construction outside of Hill Air Force Base is a headache for motorists right now, but officials say when the work is finished, it will ease the squeeze at the base’s main entry point.
The Utah Department of Transportation is currently removing old road surface and repaving State Route 193 near the Hill Field Road intersection west to the intersection of State Street in Clearfield.
The construction is taking place directly in front of Hill’s South Gate, used by many of the base’s 24,000 workers to enter and exit the installation each day. UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders said the project will complete a major reconstruction of the South Gate Drive intersection at Hill. When that work is complete, SR 193 will feature two dedicated lefthand turn lanes into base, from both eastbound and westbound from 193.
The westbound merge lane onto 193 from South Gate drive will also be widened and lengthened to allow more traffic to flow off base during peak hours. Traffic signals in the area will be upgraded, and pedestrian ramps will be installed to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act as part of the project.
“That entrance is heavily used and it’s often heavily congested — especially during those peak commute times,” Saunders said. “And when the (gate) gets congested, it can pour out and create some problems along SR 193. This project will take care of that and make traffic in that area flow a lot better and move more efficiently.”
In conjunction with UDOT’s project, Hill spokesman Rich Essary said, Hill personnel just recently completed a project to add an extra lane at the gate, hoping to funnel additional traffic off of the base.
Late last year, the base completed a project at the gate to install security features that bring the base into compliance with Department of Defense anti-terrorism standards.
Although construction is scheduled to take place at night and on the weekends, there may be some need to adjust traffic patterns at certain times. Project officers are asking drivers for additional caution and courtesy during the construction.
Saunders said the road is expected to be cleared, with the project complete by the end of June.