Major Highway Systems of Salt Lake City
There are many roads crisscrossing Salt Lake City, and in this document, we shall be talking about some of the more important ones in regards to ease of access and travel time. There are the primary Interstate freeways, as well as US Routes, and finally, there are the secondary State Routes that connect the former and latter to each other.
First of all, there’s Interstate 80, which comes from the southeastern corner of the city. Near South Salt Lake, it intersects with US Route 89, and just a few stretches of road ahead, it forms an interchange with Interstate 15, becoming concurrent with it. It would split from I-15 just a few miles later, about a few miles left of the city center. The road practically cuts the eastern sections of the city in half, and is connected to the airport. It would then exit the city just next to Northpointe.
Then there’s Interstate 15, a south-north road. Whereas I-80 cuts the city east to west, this freeway does the same but from south to north. Passing close to the city’s downtown area, it has multiple spurs splitting from it in order to access the grid pattern roads of Salt Lake City. The freeway then exits just a few miles north of Rose Park.
Salt Lake City lies at the convergence of two cross-country freeways; I-15, which runs north-to-south just west of downtown, and I-80, which connects downtown with Salt Lake City International Airport just to the west and exits to the east through Parley’s Canyon. I-215 forms a 270-degree loop around the city. SR-201 extends to the western Salt Lake City suburbs. The Legacy Parkway (State route 67), a controversial and oft-delayed freeway, opened in September 2008, heading north from I-215 into Davis County along the east shore of the Great Salt Lake. Travel to and from Davis County is complicated by geography as roads have to squeeze through the narrow opening between the Great Salt Lake to the west and the Wasatch Mountains to the east. Only four roads run between the two counties to carry the load of rush hour traffic from Davis County.
Salt Lake City’s surface street system is laid out on a simple grid pattern. Road names are numbered with a north, south, east, or west designation, with the grid originating at the southeast corner of Temple Square downtown. One of the visions of Brigham Young and the early settlers was to create wide, spacious streets, which characterizes downtown. The grid pattern remains fairly intact in the city, except on the East Bench, where geography makes it impossible. The entire Salt Lake Valley is laid out on the same numbered grid system, although it becomes increasingly irregular further into the suburbs. Many streets carry both a name and a grid coordinate. Usually both can be used as an address. US-89 enters the city from the northwest and travels the length of the valley as State Street (with the exception of northern Salt Lake City).