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PARLEY'S CANYON — A major lane closure on I-80 began Wednesday night, and it could complicate your driving plans for the next couple of days.
Close down a couple of lanes on I-80 in Parley's Canyon, and traffic slows quickly.
"It is one of the busiest routes in the entire country," said Adan Carrillo, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation.
At 6:00 Wednesday night, traffic was narrowed down to one lane at the Mountain Dell interchange. The exit ramp and the on-ramp will also stay open.
Driver Alert/Construction: WB I-80 MP134 (Mtn Dell) reduced to 1 ln Wed 10/3 6p for 48 hrs. Expect delays. Use I-84 or US-40 to Provo Cnyn.— UDOT Traffic (@UDOTTRAFFIC) October 3, 2012
"Even with that one lane open, and the on- and off-ramps open, we still anticipate a lot of delays for the next 48 hours," Carrillo said.
The problem is expected to be especially bad Thursday evening, as traffic picks up for the University of Utah football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Road crews will smooth out the asphalt surface on the concrete bridge deck.
"We'll be overlaying that bridge deck," Carrillo explained. "We'll be overlaying it with asphalt so that it's one smooth transition, so most people won't even know that they are driving over a bridge."
Typically, UDOT likes to handle paving projects like this one at night, when there are far fewer cars on the road. But temperatures in the canyon are already getting too cold at night to do it that way.
There's also the safety of construction crews and drivers to consider.
"This particular section of the road — it's at an angle, it's got a curve, there's higher speeds on I-80 — there's other elements we're trying to increase safety on," Carillo said.
Drivers are advised to use I-84 or U.S. Highway 40 to Provo Canyon as alternate routes — or just plan ahead and leave early.
"By the time the weekend comes, there will be no restrictions on I-80 and people will be able to travel freely and enjoy these last few days of warmer weather," Carrillo said.
Contributing: Randall Jeppesen