UDOT: All lanes open during I-15 CORE project

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UTAH COUNTY -- Great news for Utah County commuters: All Interstate 15 lanes will remain open throughout the CORE expansion project. The Utah Department of Transportation says this will help with traffic congestion in Provo.

The design improvements will not affect the budget or completion date of the I‐15 CORE project, which is set for December 2012. -UDOT

UDOT had advertised for months that there'd be lane closures along I-15 in Provo, but Tuesday they changed their tune and announced that daytime closures are not necessary.

Instead, between University Parkway and Provo Center Street, UDOT will reduce shoulder space, use lane shifts and narrow the lanes. Now commuters going through the so-called "S-Curves" will have 11 feet to work with, opposed to 13-feet lanes. They'll also have to slow down to a speed limit of 55 miles per hour.

These changes are supposed to reduce projected delays significantly.

UDOT: TravelWise
How to reduce traffic, delays:
  • Shifting your travel time to avoid commute hours
  • Carpooling to school, work and events
  • Starting a vanpool at your office
  • Working from home one day each week
  • Leaving a day early or returning a day later on holiday weekends
  • Walking, biking, or using transit

"We're really excited our engineers were able to get to work and find a solution that's going to minimize delays to about 30 to 60 minutes for those first five months," says Heather Barnum, spokeswoman for the I-15 CORE project.

"This is the most significant, biggest project we've ever delivered at UDOT, and it's something we have been working really hard to get things done appropriately," says UDOT Executive Director John Njord.

UDOT will also move forward with two other projects that coincide with CORE. At the end of this year, crews will start work on a brand new interchange for Provo Center Street. The new design will accommodate growth for the city.

In Orem, UDOT will reconfigure University Parkway to include a new pedestrian walkway that goes under the street. That will make it safer for Utah Valley University students trying to cross the busy intersection. Construction won't start there until next year. UDOT says there will still be some I-15 lane closures at night. Those will be announced as the project moves along.

The expanded freeway is scheduled to be completed in late 2012.

E-mail: ngonzales@ksl.com

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