Monday, April 20, 2020

Skull Valley: SR 196, 900, and 901

Skull Valley is the name of the valley between the Cedar and Stansbury mountain ranges, two valleys west of the Salt Lake Valley. Today, SR 196 runs north-south down the length of the valley, while I-80 crosses it at its north end and SR 199 enters it from the southeast. This post will focus primarily on the north-south routes in this valley - I-80 and SR 199 will be covered in future posts.

Topographic map showing the location of Skull Valley. (ESRI)

The first roads in the area came with the 1913 designation of the Lincoln Highway. In short, the Lincoln headed west from Salt Lake City via Magna, Stansbury Park, Grantsville, Delle, Timpie, Iosepa, and Dugway. From there it proceeded southwest across what is now the Dugway Proving Ground to Ibapah, and from there on to Ely, Nevada. Within Skull Valley, that essentially followed today's Skull Valley Road (SR 196) with a few minor realignments. It looks like the state most likely did maintain this road, but back then, nothing was numbered.

However, that alignment through Skull Valley didn't last long, as going all the way around the north side of the Stansbury Mountains took drivers significantly out of direction between Dugway and Grantsville. In about 1920, a new road opened through the Stansbury Mountains, connecting Dugway to Mills Junction along a much straighter route over Johnson Pass (also called Fisher Pass). Interestingly, it appears that road was built almost entirely due to a generous contribution from entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher. Can't imagine someone doing that today!

In 1919, the Utah legislature streamlined the state's highway system, restricting routes to a set of defined corridors plus any federal aid projects. (Before then, the state road commission could add just about any county road to the state system.) The Lincoln Highway route was included in the 1919 system as corridor E:
The Lincoln Highway from the Utah-Wyoming State line, via Echo Canyon, Echo, Coalville, Hoytsville and Parley's canyon to Salt Lake City; thence westwardly via Magna, Garfield, Tooele, Stockton, St. John, Clover, Johnson's Pass, Granite Mountain and Ibapah to the Utah-Nevada State line.
That definition appears to suggest that Johnson's Pass was already open, and if that's true, then Skull Valley Road was removed from the state system in 1919. But it's also possible that the definition was early and assumed that Johnson's Pass would soon be completed. 
At any rate, the north-south road from Orr's Ranch (approximately where Dugway is) north through the Skull Valley was removed from the state system when Johnson's Pass opened, and it began to deteriorate. It appears on Rand McNally's 1926 map of the Salt Lake City area as a minor dirt road:

Rand McNally (Salt Lake City), 1926.

(It's not like the other roads coming out of Orr's Ranch fared much better, either. Utah had always preferred the Victory Highway's routing over the Lincoln, so the Victory became SR 4 and later US 40, while the Lincoln was never numbered at all. The creation of the Dugway Proving Ground in 1942 was the final nail in the coffin for the Lincoln's alignment in this area.)

Tooele County gradually improved the road over the years. Most of it was shown as graded (drained and maintained) on Shell's 1950 Utah map. Some portions had been improved further by then, while others remained dirt:

Shell (Utah), 1950.

If Wikipedia is correct, the entire road had been paved by 1956. And for the next 40 years, the road functioned simply as a paved county road that connected Dugway to I-80. Here's how it appeared on the 1989 Rand McNally map of Utah:

Rand McNally (Utah), 1989.

One significant detail visible on the map above that we haven't mentioned thus far: the road passes through the reservation of the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians, a federally recognized tribe. That became relevant in the late 1980s, when the US federal government began looking for places to store nuclear waste. In 1991, the US Nuclear Waste Negotiator David Leroy offered every federally recognized tribe millions of dollars in exchange for allowing the storage of high-level nuclear waste on their land. Very few tribes were actually interested in this proposal, but the Skull Valley Goshutes were one of them. 

Although the Office of the Nuclear Waste Negotiator was eliminated in 1994, negotiations continued with Private Fuel Storage (PFS), which was a consortium of nuclear utilities wishing to store their spent nuclear fuel. In December 1996, the tribe's Chief Leon Bear signed a lease with PFS which would have allowed them to store 40,000 tons of high-level waste on the reservation. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved it four months later.

This was a hugely contentious proposal. The tribe itself was mixed on the issue - some members including Chief Bear were in favor due to the potential economic benefits, while others were strongly opposed, calling it environmental racism. Outside the tribe, the reaction across Utah was a nearly unanimous opposition from Governor Mike Leavitt and the state legislature, Congressional delegation, general public, environmental groups, US Air Force, and other Indian tribes. Although PFS had stated this storage would be temporary and the waste would ultimately be moved to the proposed Yucca Mountain disposal site in Nevada, Utah's elected officials worried storage on the Skull Valley reservation might become permanent. (Those concerns were ultimately validated when Yucca Mountain was cancelled in 2011.) Another major argument against was the location's proximity to the Utah Test and Training Range, a live-fire range in western Utah used to train Air Force pilots.

However, because the Skull Valley Goshutes are a sovereign tribe, the state of Utah has no jurisdiction over the reservation land, so it couldn't outright deny the proposal. As a result, the state began to attempt every method possible to stop the project.

The first thing the state did was to put Skull Valley Road onto the state highway system, and in January 1998, the transportation commission created a new SR 196, running from SR 199 at Dugway to I-80 at Rowley Junction. The legislature added it to the highway code the next month. In March 1998, signs were posted on the highway banning the transport of high-level nuclear waste without a permit. Here's one of them:

Apologies for the poor quality - that's what I get for taking photos straight into the sun.

That eliminated the potential of road transport of radioactive waste, but it still left open the possibility of a waste-carrying rail line branching south from the UP's main line roughly paralleling I-80. To prevent this, the 1999 legislature added an entirely new section of the Utah highway code allowing for roads serving a "compelling statewide public safety interest" to be added to the state system. These routes are unique among Utah state highways in that UDOT does not maintain them, and they cannot be improved or upgraded to a higher class of highway. They also do not appear in any of the state's highway referencing materials. However, UDOT has full control over them, which would allow the department to deny a railroad crossing on one of these roads.

In February 1999, the Utah Transportation Commission created two new routes - SR 900 and SR 901 - as the first public safety interest routes, and they were added to the state highway code that year in a completely different section from the regular routes. 900 and 901 consist of a network of low-quality Tooele County and BLM roads spanning much of Skull Valley, which a proposed rail line to the reservation would likely have to cross. The legislature defined them as follows:

SR-900. From near the east bound on and off ramps of the I-80 Delle Interchange on the I-80 south frontage road, traversing northwesterly, westerly, and northeasterly, including on portions of a county road and a Bureau of Land Management road for a distance of 9.24 miles. Then beginning again at the I-80 south frontage road traversing southwesterly and northwesterly on a county road for a distance of 4.33 miles. Then beginning again at the I-80 south frontage road traversing southwesterly, northerly, northwesterly, westerly, and northeasterly on a county road and a Bureau of Land Management road to near the east bound on and off ramps of I-80 Low/Lakeside Interchange for a distance of 2.61 miles. The entire length of SR-900 is a total distance of 16.18 miles.
SR-901. From SR-196 traversing westerly and northwesterly on a county road to a junction with a Bureau of Land Management road described as part of SR-901, then northwesterly to a junction with a county road for a distance of 8.70 miles. Then beginning again at a junction with SR-901 traversing northwesterly on a Bureau of Land Management road to a junction with a county road for a distance of 6.52 miles. Then beginning again at a junction with SR-901 traversing southwesterly on a Bureau of Land Management road to a junction with a county road for a distance of 5.44 miles. Then beginning again from a junction with SR-901 traversing southwesterly on a county road to a junction with a county road a distance of 11.52 miles. Then beginning again at a junction with SR-196 traversing westerly on a Bureau of Land Management road to a junction with a county road for a distance of 11.30 miles. The entire length of SR-901 is a total distance of 43.48 miles.
SR 900 and 901.

The resolution creating SR 900 and 901 was accompanied by that map. If you'd like to see in detail exactly which roads are 900 and 901, here's a Google My Map that might be helpful. As you might notice, some segments of these routes are very primitive and are little more than an ATV trail.

In the end, nuclear waste storage on the Goshute reservation wound up never happening. Lawsuits repeatedly pushed back any implementation, and a 2006 federal law made most of the Cedar Mountains a wilderness area, blocking the only viable route for a rail spur to the reservation. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license for the project in 2006, which went through a series of lawsuits before being upheld in federal court. However, the BIA failed to approve a lease agreement between PFS and the Goshutes, and the BLM rejected a request for a necessary right-of-way. Following these setbacks and continued opposition, PFS finally terminated the project in 2012.

Even though there are no longer any proposals to store nuclear waste on the Goshute reservation, all three routes have been retained and are still state highways today.

At least one particularly dedicated road enthusiast has attempted to drive all of both 900 and 901. He reported that the southernmost segment of SR 901 is no longer a public road and is now private property, but succeeded in driving the rest of 901 and the entirety of 900. 901 is probably drivable by most vehicles and is generally in average to good condition, while 900 is in poor to average condition and requires high clearance (think a Jeep Wrangler).

Route Photos

I've never driven SR 900 or 901 - that is an adventure I'm saving for another time. But I did drive SR 196 in December 2019. I realize these photos were taken in the wrong direction at the wrong time (thanks, sun!) but I drove this as part of a larger trip that couldn't be adjusted for time otherwise. Here are some photos from then:

We'll start out looking north through the I-80 interchange at the north end of SR 196. Turn left here for Wendover.

Turn left here for state-named I-80 west.

An END sign marks the northern terminus of SR 196. The train in the background is on the Union Pacific's main line from Lake Point west to Wendover, previously owned by Western Pacific before it merged with Union.

Turning around into the sun, we get a white background one-piecer for the I-80 interchange. Signs like this are relatively rare across the country but seem to be somewhat common in and west of Salt Lake City. 

Stay straight for SR 196 to Dugway. turn left for I-80 east to Salt Lake.

Like a handful of other rural, little-traveled routes in Utah, this highway is not plowed at night in winter.

Continue 15 miles to Iosepa, and 37 miles to Dugway.

196 reassurance marker.

Iosepa is the Hawaiian name for Joseph. The town was named for Joseph F. Smith, an early president of the LDS church, and was founded as a Polynesian immigrant community. However, the town didn't survive well at all. After a temple opened in Hawaii in 1915, almost all of the town's population moved back.

Lone Rock is the name of this little knob west of the highway.

SR 196 heads south down the Skull Valley, with the Stansbury Mountains visible to the east side. This view would probably be a hell of a lot better on a non-hazy day with the sun somewhere besides directly in front of you.

Aloha Iosepa! This sign reminds drivers today of the ghost town's history.

Today, Iosepa is mainly home to cows.

The speed limit drops to 55 as we pass through a small settlement.

After going back up to 65, the limit will drop back down to 55 a few more miles down the road. 

For some reason, these cows were all clustered along the northern fence line.

Although we're on the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation right now, the main on-reservation population center appears to be up this road. Based on that sign at right it looks like they don't want you going on it.

This probably used to be a Goshute-run gas station a long time ago. It doesn't look like it's been in service for years.

Cattle guard ahead

After climbing out of the haze we get a slightly better view of the upper Skull Valley, with the Sheeprock Mountains on the left and Simpson Mountains ahead. The hills at right are the southern flank of the Cedar Mountains.

More cows ahead as we approach Dugway

SR 196 ends here at the same place SR 199 does, just short of the Dugway Proving Ground entrance gate, which is visible directly behind the end sign.

And finally, we'll finish off with this neat older sign. I suspect this is older than 1998 at least (i.e. before 196 was a state route), because this suggests the best way to Salt Lake is SR 199. 196 is a little bit longer but is much faster, as there's more interstate mileage and no towns on the surface portions. With the 199 route you'd have to go through Johnson Pass and lose significant time slowing down in Tooele and a few other minor towns. Back in the day when it was a Tooele County road, 196 probably had a lower speed limit and maybe wasn't as well maintained as it is now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Point of the Mountain

Point of the Mountain is the traditional name for the bottleneck between the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys, through which only two highways pass. However, the name has been generalized to include some of the surrounding areas, such as the city of Bluffdale. This is one of the fastest-growing areas in the state right now - partly due to residential growth, and partly due to its proximity and association with the greater Silicon Slopes tech region. Like many other rapidly growing places, this area has been characterized by quite a bit of highway development in the past, present, and future.

I-15 approaching the Point of the Mountain from the north.

Today, there are only two routes connecting Salt Lake and Utah County: I-15 and SR 68 (Redwood Road). Naturally, those weren't always there. The first road on the eastern side of what is now Bluffdale was the Arrowhead Trail, an original auto trail that went from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. That was designated SR 1, and it became US 91 with the advent of the US Highway system in 1926. The US designations on that highway would later change several times - US 50 was added within a few years, then US 89 was added in the late 1930s, then US 50 became Alt 50 in 1952.

Redwood Road was not a state highway until 1931, when it was given the SR 68 designation. Then in 1933, an east-west connection between SR 68 at Bluffdale and US 91 was added to the state system and numbered SR 160. It was defined in the Utah legislative code:

From Bluffdale on route 68 easterly to junction with route 1.

Two years later, the route was renumbered in a strange chain shift. The original SR 161, which had been a short spur in Rich County, was decommissioned at that time. SR 160 in Bluffdale became SR 161 to make way for a new SR 160, a short connector in Juab County. I have no idea why they didn't just give the newly freed-up 161 designation to the Juab County route.

At any rate, what was now SR 161 began at US 91 and went west on Bluffdale Road (14600 South), turning north on 1690 West. Here's how the region looked in 1940:

US Census, 1940.

That shows SR 68 running south into Bluffdale on Redwood, west on 14400 South, and south on 2200 West (apparently the modern curve southwest on Redwood hadn't been built yet). SR 161 would have ended where 1690 West intersects 14400 South.

The modern alignment of SR 68 had been built by 1943 according to Historic Aerials imagery. When SR 68 was moved to that, the 161 terminus would have been adjusted accordingly. It's a bit unclear exactly how this would have happened, but it probably was extended slightly north on 1690 West (as opposed to west on 14400 South) based on the USGS map below.

Around this time, the location of the existing Sugar House Prison in Salt Lake City was becoming increasingly unpopular as the immediate Salt Lake City area grew. As a result, construction began on a new state prison in Bluffdale, which back then was a fairly rural, isolated location. The old Sugar House Prison had been served by SR 187, which had been created in 1935. In 1941, the state legislature moved SR 187 to the new Bluffdale site. The new 187 alignment began at US 50/89/91 and ran west on Bitterbrush Lane to the prison.

However, due to World War II-related construction delays, the new prison opened many years behind schedule. If I had to guess, the Sugar House Prison road was maintained as SR 187 until the prison was officially moved. The Bluffdale prison was finally completed in 1951. Here's a USGS map from that year:

USGS (Jordan Narrows), 1951.

As mentioned above, this map suggests SR 161 may have gone directly north on 1690 West to connect to Redwood, rather than following 14400 South as the through route does today. But exactly how it connected to Redwood didn't really matter in the long run, because all of SR 161 was decommissioned in 1953.

In 1969, as part of an overhaul of the state's numbering system, route numbers above 280 were reserved for routes serving the state's parks and institutions. Since SR 187 existed solely to serve the state prison, it was renumbered to 287. By that time, US 50 had been renumbered to Alt 50.

Two years later, I-15 had been completed through the area. I-15 was only given one interchange in the area, and that was placed at 14600 South. This meant SR 287 could no longer end directly at the east end of the prison, so it was extended south on a new frontage road (Pony Express Parkway) and east for a short distance on 14600 South to the new I-15 interchange. Those new alignments were shown on the 1980 update to the USGS's topo map of the area. (Unfortunately, the US 91 and Alt 50 designations on that map should also be gone - both were eliminated in the 1970s.)

USGS (Jordan Narrows), 1980.

In 1984, 14600 South was once again added to the state highway system, this time as SR 140. This route followed essentially the same routing as the pre-1953 SR 161 - the only differences were that it began at I-15 rather than US 91 and definitely used 14400 South to connect with SR 68 on the west end. Note that the commissioning of that route also shaved off a tiny bit of 287, which was truncated to its junction with 140 just west of the interstate.

That was shown on the 1999 USGS map. Also visible is SR 154 (Bangerter Highway), which was completed in 1998:

USGS (Jordan Narrows), 1999.

In 2012, the Mountain View Corridor was opened in Salt Lake County. At the time, it extended from 5400 South south to a point just north of the Salt Lake-Utah county line, where a new road called Porter Rockwell Boulevard was built to connect Mountain View to Redwood. It appeared on the 2014 USGS map:

USGS (Jordan Narrows), 2014.

Both roads were designated SR 85. In a somewhat rare move for Utah, SR 85 proceeded south on a concurrency with SR 68 to 2100 North in Lehi, where it turned east towards I-15. That concurrency was semi-signed, in that dual reassurance shields existed in a couple locations, but END 85 signs were also posted at both SR 68 junctions (they've since been removed). Presumably, the goal is to eventually move 85 off the Redwood overlap once the actual Mountain View Corridor had been built.

But Porter Rockwell Boulevard wasn't going to settle for simply being a Mountain View-Redwood connection. Plans called for it to continue east, across the Jordan River, and then northeast to 14600 South. That connection was important enough that UDOT wanted it on the state system, so in a Utah Transportation Commission meeting, it was added to the state highway system as SR 131. In exchange, part of the west end of 140 was decommissioned. That much made sense, but the location it was truncated to doesn't: 140 was cut back to its junction with 800 West. Look at a modern map, and you'll notice that it is a minor street serving a few warehouses and some other industrial buildings. I have no idea why that was chosen for the new western terminus, and the resolution doesn't seem to offer any clues.

At any rate, the resolution included this map outlining the changes:

UDOT resolution map, September 2016. Red represents the part of SR 140 to be decommissioned, blue represents the retained part of SR 140, and green is the new SR 131.

Here's the catch, though: at that time, the vast majority of Porter Rockwell Blvd didn't exist yet. In 2016, it ran south from 14600 South to Freedom Point Way. By 2018, it had been extended to Harmon Day Drive, which is where it ends today. The bridge over the Jordan and connection to the already-existing portion of Porter Rockwell Boulevard is under construction and should be complete in a couple years.

Current state highways in the Bluffdale area.

Obviously, this isn't going to be the final configuration. SR 131 will be extended to SR 68 within the next couple years. The Mountain View Corridor will be extended south in the coming years as well, which will most likely become SR 85 and result in a short westward extension of 131. I wouldn't be surprised to see a further truncation of 140 back to 131, either.

But perhaps the most interesting future possibility relates to Bangerter Highway. In 2016, a new exit (1) was built at 600 West, which was a brand-new roadway at the time. Here's how that is signed:

Eastbound SR 154 (Bangerter Highway) approaching Exit 1.

Note the large space above 600 West. Ordinarily I'd be making fun of UDOT for making a design error like that, but this isn't a one-off - every single sign for this exit has that extra space. Last time I saw that, it was at the Pleasant Grove Boulevard exit on I-15 in Utah County. Within a few years, that road was designated SR 135 and shields were added in the spaces.

That heavily suggests to me that UDOT plans on making 600 West a state route at some point in the near future. Based on a few long-range plans I've seen, it seems most likely to become SR 131, which would be extended on a yet-to-be-built roadway connecting 600 West to the Porter Rockwell Blvd/14600 South intersection.

If I had to guess, this is what the routes in the area will look like in 10 years:

My hypothesis for the Bluffdale state route landscape in 10 years.

Route Photos

The following photos were all taken in December 2018. As far as I know, there haven't been any changes to signage since then, but bear this in mind as there's likely been significant progress on Porter Rockwell construction since that time. 

SR 140

As we head west from Draper on Highland Drive/14600 South, we approach I-15 and the beginning of SR 140.

This cool bridge may or may not have ever carried the Union Pacific Railroad, but it's likely to carry UTA's TRAX light rail in the somewhat near future. 

Turn left on Minuteman Drive, the east-side I-15 frontage road, for the Point of the Mountain Flight Park. Although we still aren't technically on SR 140 yet, this traffic light looks like it's built to UDOT specs.

SR 140 begins at the I-15 interchange. Immediately after passing through there, we'll reach Pony Express Road which is here-unsigned SR 287. Turn right here for the state correctional facilities.
SR 140 heads down the hill, curving to the west to follow the alignment of 14600 South.

After a quarter-mile, we'll come upon Porter Rockwell Boulevard.
Porter Rockwell Boulevard is currently-unsigned SR 131. In fact, this intersection is totally unsigned - no SR 140 shields to be found on any of the three approaches, either.
That road to the left here is 800 West, which means this intersection is the west end of SR 140. As seems to be the theme in this area, it's totally unsigned. There's no pavement change, either - I imagine UDOT resurfaced the roadway before they handed it over to Bluffdale. This relative lack of signage suggests to me that UDOT intends to truncate 140 further in the future - potentially all the way back to SR 287 or even to I-15.

Former SR 140

There's an old, low clearance bridge ahead which we'll see in a moment as we continue west on 146th South.

If you're overheight, you'll set off this set of flashing lights. I'm not sure if these are just preemptive or if they were installed in response to bridge collisions similar to those on the famous 11-foot-8 bridge in North Carolina.

Of course, one of the first things Bluffdale did when they got control of this road was to put in a roundabout, which I believe is their first. I like the yield reminder - it should be self-explanatory, but Utah drivers tend to suck at this.

14600 South heads out of the roundabout to the northwest as we approach the bridge.

And here it is. It's a one-lane bridge that was actually stop-sign controlled while this was a state highway. These traffic lights look like UDOT installs and were likely put up just before the road was turned over. 

The bridge itself is ancient and was probably in use all the way in the 1930s when this was SR 160 and 161. Clearance is 12 feet even, but it looks like that figure was corrected from something higher - perhaps after something 12 feet tall struck the bridge. 

14600 South continues west through a residential, exurban area of Bluffdale. This is a fascinating road - you'd never guess this was in Salt Lake County.

As we approach Redwood Road, we'll get a JCT 68 marker that was probably put up when this was still 140

SR 140 ended here at SR 68/Redwood Road. Note how that's signed on the street blade there - UDOT did that for a while before the shield-in-street-blade design was introduced. 

Looking north from there on Redwood, we have an SR 68 reassurance shield, again a remnant from the SR 140 days. 

SR 287

No reassurance shield as we head north from 146th on Pony Express Road.

Turn left ahead for pretty much the entire prison complex. SR 287 makes that turn as well, though it's not signed

Bitterbrush Lane carries SR 287 into the prison grounds.

The highway will pass through this gate

SR 287 ends just past that brown guard house.

If we turn around and head back south, we'll get a JCT 140 sign

Whoa, 287 is signed! That END sign is the only 287 sign posted anywhere. Either direction here is SR 140; turn left to get to I-15. 

 SR 131

If we turn south from 146th South onto Porter Rockwell Blvd, we'll proceed for about 1.5 miles until the road ends here at Harmon Day Drive. In the future, it'll be extended over the Jordan River and connect to the other existing segment of Porter Rockwell Blvd. 

We'll turn around and head back to 146th South. This is the northern terminus of SR 131, but as mentioned above, this junction is entirely unsigned. Clearly, this intersection was built with the anticipation that Porter Rockwell will be wider in the future.

UDOT doesn't typically do pole-only traffic lights like this one - there's almost always a mast arm involved. Also note the prison guard tower in the background. 

 Porter Rockwell Boulevard (western)

We'll start out heading south on Redwood Road (SR 68). What are those in the background? Let's get a closer look...

So...SR 131 doesn't actually exist over here yet. But as you'll notice in this and following pictures, the Redwood and Porter Rockwell intersection is fully signed as if it did.

Turn left for SR 131 east in a couple years. Turn left now for SR 85 north - that's an error, in my opinion.

This is one of a few lights in the area with double reds - UDOT tends to use those on roads with a high frequency of red light violations. They're most common on Mountain View Corridor, but you can find them scattered around the state on expressway-type roads like this.

If we make that right turn, we'll find ourselves on SR 85. Although we're heading compass west here, SR 85 is a north-south route and really should be signed accordingly. 

In the future, Mountain View will be extended south and this segment of roadway will likely assume the SR 131 designation.

Turn right on the Mountain View Corridor to follow SR 85 north.

We'll turn around and head back east. Again, this short segment of 85 is stupidly signed east-west.

As we approach Redwood, we'll get a JCT SR 68 assembly. Interesting that there's no 131 shield on this approach - while that's probably the best way to do it right now, it's inconsistent with the signage on both Redwood approaches.

Now once we get to Redwood itself, a sign for 131 appears, along with one for 68. Note the lack of 85 signage here - SR 85 turns right here for a brief concurrency with SR 68 - at least until the Mountain View Corridor gets built between Porter Rockwell and 2100 North in Lehi. Unfortunately, Utah is not a state that signs concurrencies well, especially state route concurrencies (which there are only three of in the state, anyway).

As of 2020, there is still no 85 signage here, but if you make that right turn you get dual 68/85 reassurance shields.
All those signs directing you to EAST 131 is? That's what it looks like.