POINT OF THE MOUNTAIN — State troopers are pleading with the public to slow down and take more care in construction zones, particularly in the 55 MPH section of I-15 near Point of the Mountain that will be undergoing repairs for 16 months.
To ease congestion, UDOT is widening each side of the valley's largest highway to six lanes each. But with lanes changing almost daily, workers and concerned motorists are worried about numerous cars still speeding through the area.
"I don't know whether people are not getting the message," said Lt. Jeff Nigbur of Utah Highway Patrol. "Or whether they're worried about getting to work on time. Maybe they just don't even care."
Over 165,000 cars travel through the affected stretch of road on an average day, a seven-mile block. Multiple large accidents, including one Monday night that backed traffic up for miles, have marred the construction process.
"If you're driving too fast, you're a danger to yourself and everyone else on the road," said UDOT spokesman John Gleason.
Despite the posted speed limit in these areas of 55 mph, a recent blitz by troopers revealed the average speed to be 65 mph, with excessive speeds reaching into the 70s, 80s and even 90s. Officials assume motorists might be more cognizant of the dangers they're involved with if they saw things from a worker's perspective.
"The lives of our workers, the lives of other people who are on the road. It's so important that we all get home safely," said Gleason.