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UTAH COUNTY -- A new lane restriction in effect during the day has backed up southbound traffic in American Fork and Lehi. It's part of the Utah Department of Transportation I-15 CORE rebuild in Utah County.
For the first time in this project, UDOT has implemented a daytime ramp closure. As crews have begun putting down concrete near the 500 East exit in American Fork, the freeway goes from four lanes down to three. The work also has caused the closure of southbound off-ramps and the southbound on-ramps at 500 East.
The good news is it's temporary, but for the next three weeks drivers need to expect delays regardless of the time of day they are driving through.
"We've promised to keep three lanes open during the course of the project. We're still maintaining that even with the restrictions of the concrete pouring," said UDOT spokesman Scott Thompson. "While it will cause some congestion the next couple of weeks, we think people will get adjusted."
UDOT is trying to alleviate some of the backup by encouraging drivers to take State Street as a detour and have synchronized stoplights to help.
"We're coordinating all the local traffic signals right now to get people through faster," Thompson said. "If they get off and want to get through American Fork, Lehi and Pleasant Grove, we're coordinating these signals so they can get through faster on the local streets as well."
The daytime closure extends through Lindon, so traffic will be slow for about six miles of the southbound lanes.
UDOT says it is trying to get as much work done as possible before the weather slows down construction.
"It's going to be congested for a while, but while this will be a temporary inconvenience we'll get it open as soon as possible," Thompson said.
There are also some major night time closures planned this week near 500 East. Thursday night, all northbound lanes will close at 11 p.m. On Friday, all southbound lanes will close at 11 p.m. with a detour through American Fork.