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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Road construction in Utah County caused significant delays Thursday as motorists and school buses waited an hour – or longer – just to move a few miles.
“It was total frustration,” said Saratoga Springs resident Darci Brainich. “It was just so many cars — so many cars.”
Lane restrictions at 2100 North caused Redwood Road to backup past Utah Lake. The gridlock spread to nearby streets and intersections as drivers from Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain headed to work and school.
“We were all late to work by hours,” said Darwin McKee, adding that his commute to I-15 took five times longer than normal. “We were sitting in traffic for a long, long time.”
I don’t think they realize how many people they affect.
–Darci Brainich, Utah County commuter
Alpine School District confirmed to KSL that buses in the area were delayed between 40-to-90 minutes, with some students missing the entire first period of middle school and high school.
“I don’t think they realize how many people they affect,” Brainich said.
Overnight, construction workers switched the intersection of 2100 North and Redwood Road from temporary traffic lights to permanent signals as part of the ongoing construction of the Mountain View Corridor. The Utah Department of Transportation said a malfunction prevented crews from opening the lanes.
“Generally we try to have those lanes open again in time for the morning commute,” said UDOT spokesperson John Gleason. “Unfortunately it was just something that couldn’t be prevented this morning.”
VIDEO: “It was total frustration"— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) August 30, 2019
Tempers flare over Redwood Road gridlock in Utah County.
“We were all late to work by hours" NEXT at 6:30 on @KSL5TV find out what happened and what steps @UDOTTRAFFIC is taking @KSLcom@KSLTraffic@kslnewsradio@email@example.com/ddLy67LIT3
Afterward, frustrated drivers and Saratoga Springs called on UDOT to do a better job communicating.
“What we had was a breakdown in communication,” said Saratoga Springs spokesperson David Johnson.
Saratoga Springs posted on social media that it has repeatedly asked UDOT to avoid interruptions during rush hour, especially during the start of the school year. The city advised residents to call UDOT to “help push the message home.”
UDOT said it is working with the contractor of the project to review procedures and make sure the delays don’t happen again.