Pioneer Crossing is a 6-mile East-West Connector that crosses over I-15 using a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) interchange.
Project Type:Connector Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:25,575 Length (mi):6.00
Economic Distress:0.60 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):985 Population Growth Rate (%):2.25
Employment Growth Rate (%):8.53 Market Size:1,423,191 Airport Travel Distance:35 Topography:21
Region:Rocky Mountain / Far West State:UT County:Utah County & Salt Lake County
City:Lehi, Saratoga Springs, American Fork, Eagle Mountain Urban/Class Level:Metro Local Area:City N/A
Impact Area:Utah County & Salt Lake County Transportation System:N/A GIS Lat/Long:40.376787 / -111.818731
Initial Study Date:2008 Post Constr. Study Date:2015
Constr. Start Date:2009 Constr. End Date:2010
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): 2009 Planned Cost (YOE $):260,000,000
Actual Cost (YOE $):192,000,000 Actual Cost (curr $):207,203,590
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||2.09||1.33||3.42|
|Output (in $M's)||4.39||4.20||8.59|
The Pioneer Crossing project is a six-mile, five- to seven-lane east-west connector in Utah that runs from American Fork Main Street in the east, through the City of Lehi, to Redwood Road in Saratoga Springs to the west. The project was constructed for $207.2M (2013 dollars) and opened to traffic in August 2010. It is part of a larger effort by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) to provide connectivity to I-15 in response to the region’s explosive growth. Other projects developed after the Pioneer Crossing project include the 2100 North Corridor, Pony Express, and the Mountainview Corridor. The primary motivation for the Pioneer Crossing project was to relieve congestion on historic Lehi Main Street (Utah State Route 73) and provide an alternate route for east-west traffic in the region. Development along the Pioneer Crossing corridor has primarily been residential; however, it is estimated that this project created 71 jobs, primarily in the retail and health/fitness businesses.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
The Pioneer Crossing connector is entirely located in Utah County, Utah. The project included a new diverging diamond interchange (DDI) with I-15 just prior to becoming Main Street in the city of American Fork. I-15 is Utah’s primary north-south corridor and runs through almost all the state’s major population centers, including Provo, Ogden, and Salt Lake City.
The FrontRunner commuter rail line that extends from Ogden to Provo has a station in the City of American Fork. This station is the closest facility for residents of Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, American Fork, and parts of Lehi; there is another FrontRunner station in nearby Lehi. Additionally, there is one major bus route that serves the west side of Utah County and traverses up Redwood Road into Salt Lake County. The nearest airport is Salt Lake City International Airport, approximately 35 miles to the north. Salt Lake City International Airport is the 25th busiest airport in North America and served 23,157,445 passengers in 2016.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
Between 2008 and 2015, the total population of Lehi, Saratoga Springs, American Fork, and Eagle Mountain increased from 98,700 to 129,447 (+31%). Over this same period, the total population in Utah and Salt Lake counties increased from 1,513,693 to 1,630,915 (+8%), and the population of the state of Utah increased from 2,663,500 to 2,903,379 (+9%). Similarly, employment in Lehi, Saratoga Springs, American Fork, and Eagle Mountain increased from 39,549 to 51,130 (+29%) between 2008 and 2015; over this same period, the employment for Utah and Salt Lake counties increased from 1,032,264 to 1,195,966 (+16%) and the employment in the state of Utah increased from 1,692,112 to 1,863,692 (+10%). The change in per capita income from 2008 to 2015 however did not follow this pattern. The state of Utah saw the greatest increase in per capita income; the average change in per capita income for Lehi, Saratoga Springs, American Fork, and Eagle Mountain increased from $18,925 to $21,957 (+16%), while the average change in per capita income for Utah and Salt Lake counties from $35,296 to $41,169 (+17%), and the per capita income for the state of Utah increased from $33,932 to $39,378 (+16%). The increase in employment over this period was primarily in the trade, transportation, and utilities industries, as well as the professional and business services industry in both Utah and Salt Lake counties. There were also large increases in the construction industry seen in Utah county, and increases in education, health, and social services in Salt Lake county. In Utah county, the construction industry was one of the hardest hit following the 2008 Recession. It has increased steadily since 2010 and shown substantial improvement, particularly in residential construction. The top three employers in Utah county are Brigham Young University, the Alpine School District, and the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. The top three employers in Salt Lake county are the University of Utah, Intermountain Health Care, and the State of Utah.
According to interviewees, the area immediately surrounding the Pioneer Crossing corridor was historically agricultural, utilized primarily for grazing and some crop production. In recent years, the area has become known as “Silicon Slopes”, with a growing technology sector that includes Adobe, which located in Lehi in 2010 along the Wasatch Front. This recent growth in the technology sector is a major factor likely driving the high population growth seen in the area. The area immediately surrounding the Pioneer Crossing has become single-family residential, due in part to this growth and the roadway’s proximity to I-15. Many residents in the study area also commute to major employment centers in nearby Salt Lake City and Provo via I-15.
The primary motivation for the Pioneer Crossing project was to relieve congestion and provide an alternate route for east-west traffic. Prior to the opening of Pioneer Crossing, the only route from Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, and Lehi to I-15 was utilizing Lehi’s Main Street (Utah State Route 73), a two-lane roadway. The newly-incorporated cities of Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain on the western end of the Pioneer Crossing corridor experienced high levels of growth from 2000 to 2009; the population of Eagle Mountain increased from 2,157 in 2000 to 18,960 in 2009 (an average growth rate of 87% per year), while the population of Saratoga Springs increased from 1,028 in 2000 to 12,584 in 2009 (an average growth rate of 125% per year). The high levels of growth in these areas made the construction of an alternate east-west corridor a necessity.
Construction of the $207.2 million (in 2013 dollars), six-mile Pioneer Crossing project began in November 2009 and was completed in August 2010. The project was procured as a Design-Build with Kiewit/Clyde (a joint venture of Kiewit Western Co. and WW. Clyde & Co.) as the contractor and Parsons as the designer, an innovative contracting strategy that allowed for fast-track construction. The project included construction of two new bridges, a new 60-in waterline for the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, noise walls, retaining walls, and utility relocations. The project also included aesthetics such as decorative retaining walls, monuments, and landscaping, at the request of American Fork and Saratoga Springs to enhance the look of the area as a “gateway” to surrounding cities. The project utilized an innovative diverging diamond interchange (DDI) at the I-15 interchange, a solution proposed by the designer-builder to increase capacity and improved safety at the interchange; the DDI also provided $20 million in savings compared to a single point urban interchange proposed by the state.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
The Pioneer Crossing corridor was the first of several east-west and north-south corridors built or expanded in the area to accommodate the high levels of growth; subsequent corridors include 2100 North, Pony Express, and the Mountainview Corridor. Pioneer Crossing was the first to be implemented in part due to the high levels of congestion on Lehi Main Street. In 2008, prior to the construction of the Pioneer Crossing corridor, the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) of Lehi Main Street was 20,185 which according to UDOT exceeds the 16,000 AADT volume threshold for a level-of-service (LOS) D for a roadway of this functional class. According to a UDOT report on the diverging diamond interchange section of the Pioneer Crossing project, the opening of Pioneer Crossing resulting in a significant shift of traffic from Lehi Main Street to Pioneer Crossing; traffic on Lehi Main Street decreased by 23% in just the first week after the opening of Pioneer Crossing. Additionally, the level of service on Lehi Main Street has improved from failing prior to the opening of Pioneer Crossing to a current LOS B. Upon opening in 2010, the AADT on Pioneer Crossing was 21,800, which increased to 25,575 in 2015 (+17%). In 2014, the AADT on Main Street in Lehi was just 7,980, a decrease of 61% since 2008.
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
The area surrounding the Pioneer Crossing corridor has seen high levels of residential development since the opening of the facility, with additional residential development planned for the near future. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) owned much of the area immediately surrounding the corridor. This area is now master planned for residential development, approximately 8,000 housing units. Other housing developments adjacent to the corridor include Creekside Farms, Dapple Gay Trail, and Jordan Willows, which total approximately 100 units, and the Nicholls and Stanley properties, which are in development and will total approximately 80 units.
Most of the development surrounding the Pioneer Crossing corridor has been residential, however some commercial development has located adjacent to the corridor as well. Mill Pond Plaza, a 64,000-square foot, 3-building complex that includes office, warehouse and retail space was constructed after the completion of the Pioneer Crossing roadway. Current occupants include a CrossFit and climbing gym. It is estimated that 9 new jobs—a portion of the new jobs associated with this development—are directly attributable to the Pioneer Crossing project. This commercial development was primarily based on other business decisions; however, interviewees acknowledge that the Pioneer Crossing is beneficial to the development in that it provides direct access to I-15. Additionally, Blender Bottle relocated their headquarters from nearby Pleasant Grove, Utah to Lehi, adjacent to the Pioneer Crossing corridor to accommodate future growth. The new facility includes 20,000 square feet of office space and 80,000 square feet of warehouse space. While the relocation of Blender Bottle did not create new jobs, the move to Lehi provided improved access, increased space, and improved facilities, which will be instrumental in accommodating future growth. The Pioneer Crossing also provides improved access to regional shopping areas in American Fork, particularly The Meadows, a development that includes 2.1 million square feet of retail and is located directly east of the Pioneer Crossing. The Meadows has added 100,000 square feet of retail space since the Pioneer Crossing project opened in 2010. This additional development at The Meadows is due in part to the increased connectivity provided by the Pioneer Crossing project; the project alone is responsible for 40 new jobs. The roadway has benefited small businesses in the historic downtown area on Lehi Main Street as well by relieving congestion and improving walkability. Holiday Oil, a gas station with an accompanying convenience store, opened along the Pioneer Crossing corridor after the project opening, resulting in 10 new jobs that were a direct result of the project. Additionally, a Smith’s Marketplace opened at the western end of the corridor following the opening of the Pioneer Crossing. The location of this grocery store is partially attributable to the project, with 12 new jobs a direct result. A total of 71 jobs are attributable to the project.
The area surrounding the Pioneer Crossing has seen explosive growth in the last several decades, as seen in the increase in population throughout the study area. The connectivity the Pioneer Crossing provides is one of many factors accommodating this growth. Technology companies, including Adobe and Microsoft, have recently located in the Thanksgiving Point area of Lehi, however these companies are concentrated in the northern part of the city and are not impacted directly by the Pioneer Crossing roadway. The Pioneer Crossing project did result in a small portion of the corridor being rezoned from residential to commercial, and future development is anticipated though not yet realized. However, interviewees noted that nearby residents have strongly pushed back against commercial development in the corridor and have been effective in supporting only residential development in the area.
Organization, Name, Title
City of American Fork, Adam Olson, Senior Planner
City of Lehi, Marlon Eldred, Economic Development Director
UDOT, Eric Rasband, Traffic Operations Analysis and Reporting Manager
Mountainland Association of Governments, Shawn Seager, Director
Mountainland Association of Governments, Shawn Elliot, Roads, Demographics, Projections, TIP
Woodbury Corporation, Dallas Reid, Director of Building Operations
Case Study Developed by University of Maryland