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UTAH COUNTY -- The major rebuild of I-15 in Utah County is now clearly underway and the scope of the impact is close to becoming a reality.
Crews have been doing a lot of night work, but the area which will impact drivers the most is the Provo S-curves; and this weekend, drivers will see firsthand the changes that will be in place over the next five months.
- 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
Heather Barnum, I-15 core spokeswoman, said, "By Saturday morning, you'll have narrow lanes, narrow shoulders, and also reduced speeds of 55 miles per hour."
Last week UDOT revised its plan for the section of the freeway. Originally, there were to be lane reductions, even during the day. Now the plan calls for the lanes and shoulders to be narrowed, but the number of lanes remain the same.
UDOT is first focusing on an area in the middle of the 24 miles, which will be rebuilt. Drivers will be happy to hear that the S-curves will look different at the end of the project.
"We'll be bringing them up to national design standards -- which means straightening them slightly, increasing the shoulder widths, increasing the barrier widths, and also adding high-mast lighting, so the visibility will be a lot better," Barnum said.
Elsewhere, the 500 East interchange in American Fork is being rebuilt. Since it is a smaller overpass, the bridge has to be rebuilt so the freeway can be widened. The entire interchange is being redesigned to a diverging diamond interchange, the same type which is almost finished at the American Fork Main Street exit.
UDOT is planning to move fast on this rebuild and have it completely finished in two and a half years. Until December of 2012, though, we can all expect some delays and detours on I-15 in Utah County.