PROVO -- As BYU fans head to Saturday's home game with Nevada, significant efforts are being made to make it an easy trip before and after the game.
With Interstate 15 in Utah County in the midst of a major rebuild, traffic is a top priority not only for the Utah Department of Transportation, but also for Provo and Orem city engineers. They credit a new system to control traffic flows for a decrease in driver headaches on game day.
Engineers watch stoplights and cars through an extensive network of cameras, which are located at every major intersection. They working to keep the main routes green so the game traffic is almost always flowing; and they can make adjustments in real time.
Stop lights controlled by Orem, Provo and UDOT are now coordinated and tied together, eliminating the days of a police officer managing each stoplight. Engineers say the system is proving successful.
"As we compared the events from last year to this year, we've seen a fairly significant decrease in time, as well as an increase in the number of vehicles we are able to serve at any given time," said Eric Rasband, with UDOT traffic operations.
Instead of taking nearly two hours to get traffic out of town, it's now down to an hour. The pregame traffic is also adjusted depending on the volume of specific streets.
Saturday, Sept. 25
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Traffic engineers are on the job two and a half hours before kickoff and are taking notes about what they can improve next time.
"We also have a whiteboard on the wall," said Orem traffic operations engineer Keith Larsen. "We're making comments and writing things we can fine tune for the next game."
Kickoff is Saturday afternoon at 4:00, so you'll want to be on the road early to make it on time.
UDOT is strongly discouraging fans from using Provo Center Street because the interchange is now small, with temporary ramps because of I-15 construction.
UDOT will also send you a text message in the fourth quarter, if you'd like, to advise you the best route to get you back home. Just text "i15" to 53535.