Salt Lake City, Utah

According to Ehuacom, Salt Lake City is an American city in the state of Utah. It is the largest and state capital, and is centrally located in the middle of the state, bordered on the west by the Great Salt Lake, and bordered on the east by the Wasatch Mountains. The population is 200,000, but the agglomeration has 1,263,000 inhabitants (2021). The entire urbanized region of Wasatch Front has 2,238,000 inhabitants.


According to mcat-test-centers, Salt Lake City is the largest city on the Wasatch Front, a 200-mile elongated urban area in northern Utah. Nearby is the Salt Lake, after which the city is named, as well as the Great Salt Lake Desert. The city is located at 1,300 meters above sea level on the edge of the Wasatch Range, which has peaks of up to 3,600 meters. About 80 percent of Utah’s population lives in the Wasatch Front. The city of Salt Lake City is relatively small with 200,000 inhabitants in 2021. Salt Lake County then had 1,186,000 residents and the conurbation also consists of Davis County and Utah County and has a total of 2,238,000 inhabitants. Salt Lake City is one of the few cities in the western United States that has stagnated in population for years, since 1950 the city has had about 180,000 inhabitants. This is due to a lack of space within Salt Lake City’s city limits, and large suburbs have developed around the city, such as the 129,000-population city of West Valley City. Salt Lake County is largely built up, the Great Salt Lake, wetlands and the Wasatch Range ensure that this area can no longer be developed on a large scale. The growth is therefore spilling over into Utah County, in particular, south of the city, with cities like American Fork, Orem, and Provo. Salt Lake City has historically been an important hub in the western United States, the first transcontinental rail road was built through Salt Lake City, as well as several older car trails early 20th century.

Road network

Salt Lake City’s highway network.

The highway network consists of 3 Interstate Highways, and two State Routes. Interstate 15 runs north-south through the city, and Interstate 80 east-west. Interstate 215 is a partial beltway, while SR -201 forms a local highway between West Valley City and Salt Lake City. Large parts of the conurbation are not served by a highway, especially the southern part, but opposite is a well-developed street network. The highway network is not very dense, but because the population is strongly concentrated along the I-15 corridor, this highway has to handle a lot of traffic. At the height of the center, this highway already has 16 lanes, and will be further widened to 10 to 12 lanes south of Salt Lake City. North of Salt Lake City, the parallel Legacy Parkway was built more recently.

The underlying road network is designed in a grid pattern, with roads numbered with the addition North, South, West and East, for example 700 West. The grid is centered in Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. The entire region is included in this grid system, although it is less perfectionistic in the outer suburbs.

List of freeways

length first opening last opening max AADT 2012
155 km 1956 1971 255,000
29 km 195x 1986 118,000
47 km 1963 1989 117,000
19 km 2008 2008 24,000
32 km 1965 1970 106,000


In the 1950s, Salt Lake City was one of the largest cities in the so-called Intermountain West, the region between the Midwest and the Pacific West, more or less the Rocky Mountains and the intermediate Great Basin with its deserts. In 1950 the city already had 180,000 inhabitants, for comparison, Phoenix then had only 107,000 inhabitants and Las Vegas was an insignificant town of 25,000 inhabitants at the time. Because traffic was north-south at the time, it was also first built on a north-south highway through Salt Lake City. The first stretch of highway north of Downtown opened in 1956. By 1965, I-15 was completed through Salt Lake City, as well as most surrounding suburbs, although the southernmost portion of the Utah County Line was not completed until about 1971. In the 1970s, Interstate 80 was also used as an east-west route, especially in the east of Salt Lake City, only in 1986 the last missing link in Utah in the west of Salt Lake City would be completed.

Also relatively early work was done on the Salt Lake City ring road, Interstate 215. Already in 1963 the first part opened in the north of the city, and in 1969 two parts were open, the northernmost part and the easternmost part. In 1976, a large 10-mile stretch opened up in southwestern suburbs such as Taylorsville and West Valley City. It was not until 1985 and 1989 that the Belt Route was completed to the southeast and west of Salt Lake City and its suburbs. This was the last freeway opening in the region for nearly 20 years, although the growth did not stop. Due to the mountains east of downtown Salt Lake City, building this section of I-215 was never considered, so through traffic always goes through downtown on I-15 and I-80. In anticipation of the Olympic Games to be held in Salt Lake City in 2002, the highway network has been modernized, especially Interstate 15 has been significantly expanded and widened around the turn of the millennium. The highway now has up to 18 lanes. In 2008, the first new highway in 19 years opened, the first part of the Legacy Parkway north of Salt Lake City.


In the coming years, much of Interstate 15 in Utah County south of Salt Lake City will be widened to accommodate the strong population growth around Orem and Provo. The highway will be widened to 2×4 lanes. Utah is characterized by thinking far ahead when building new highways, and using space reservations that should provide sufficient capacity until at least the year 2040. The Legacy Highway and the Mountain View Corridor is an important project that should provide an alternative to I-15, as it is not possible to widen the highway much in the long run. In addition, it would make the region too dependent on just one corridor. The West Davis Corridor is also being developed north of Salt Lake City.


Congestion is limited, but growing, mainly due to the growth of suburbs in the west and south. New ways to cope with this population growth are being developed. Most of the congestion occurs on I-15 south of Salt Lake City. Public transport is doing relatively well in Salt Lake City, but the vast majority of residents opt for the car as a mode of transport. The geography of the area does not allow new roads very well, due to the mountainous character, and the rest is almost completely built up.

Salt Lake City, Utah