Despite initial confusion, new interchange in Draper expected to improve flow on Bangerter

DRAPER, Utah -- Construction crews finished a major project on Bangerter Highway Saturday—a new interchange in Draper.

The Utah Department of Transportation said it will improve traffic flow, but the changes left some drivers confused.

A freshly-poured concrete barrier blocked the intersection at 200 West Saturday morning.

"I was just confused how to come over here," Brandon Payne said about navigating from 200 West on the north side of Bangerter to 200 West on the south side. "I had to go all the way across, turn around, come back."

The new median left people like him driving in circles, trying to figure out how to get across Bangerter Highway.

"I think it will confuse a lot of people," Nic Hales said of the new traffic pattern.

The project is so newly completed that crews were still adding the finishing touches at the former intersection Saturday.

But drive a little west, and commuters will find a new way to get to this part of town. There's no more intersection, just on and off-ramps.

"It really is becoming more like a freeway, especially on the south end," said John Gleason of UDOT.

A stoplight used to halt traffic at 200 West and Bangerter, but now traffic will exit at 600 West. Cars can then take side roads to circle back to 200 West.

"This is significant for the west side of the valley here, because we're seeing so much growth​," Gleason said.

With housing and business growth heading west, he said UDOT needs to keep up and plan for the future.

Gleason said that's why they're also starting construction on four other freeway-style interchanges on Bangerter: 5400 South, 7000 South, 9000 South and 11400 South will all see new ways to enter and exit the popular road in the near future, by doing away with the intersections.

"It's going to really improve traffic flow," Gleason said.

He said they've already started on the 7000 South interchange, and they expect to finish it this year. They'll complete the other three, he said, in 2018.

Drivers will have to get used to the changes.

"It'll be good once it's done, once it's a full freeway, It'll be really nice," Hales said, adding, "Until then, it'll be a little bit of a nightmare for all of us who drive."