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OREM — Utah County's first continuous flow intersection opened this morning and should bring relief to tens of thousands of motorists who use the intersection each day.
The intersection at University Parkway and Sandhill Road opened just after 5 a.m.
UDOT posted a tutorial online showing drivers how to navigate the intersection and is asking that they become familiar with how it works before driving it. KSL observed several motorists misuse the intersection earlier this morning, turning left in the middle of the intersection when they should get into a turn lane earlier.
UDOT's Mindy Nelson said, "The main thing you are going to notice is if you're going to make a left-hand turn, you're going to get over farther back. You are going to then make a left-hand turn onto oncoming traffic and then get into another far left-hand turn." (Click here for a diagram of how that works)
Troopers are on hand to direct any drivers who might struggle to make legal left turns on this opening day. The traffic flow appeared to be smoothing out as the morning progresses.
The intersection usually is used by nearly 70,000 cars per day. The new configuration should increase the flow of traffic by 20 percent. For some people, driving the intersection prior to the redesign was a nightmare because of the traffic lights.
William Halasima said, "You'll be sitting at this light for 15 to 20 minutes sometimes because you get stuck. By the time you get up here, it's red, and then you catch another red light."
Starting today, drivers should see more green lights from east to west.
The timing of the reopening is important to graduating high school students because UDOT estimates that over the next two weeks, 30,000 high school students and their families will travel through the intersection to get to Utah Valley University for graduation ceremonies.