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SALT LAKE CITY — Get ready, Utah drivers. The season of orange cones and detour signs is coming to a highway near you.
The Utah Department of Transportation Thursday released its list of top road projects that will be on the agenda the rest of this year into 2022. The agency will work on 185 projects statewide at a total cost of $3.45 billion over the life of the projects' schedules, many of which span multiple years, officials said.
With construction about to intensify, UDOT announced the projects that will affect drivers the most in 2021.
"What we're trying to communicate right now is that construction is ramping up, and we try to do everything we can to minimize the inconvenience to the public on these projects, but there's going to be impacts, and there's going to be restrictions, there's going to be delays," said Robert Stewart, UDOT's Region 2 director. "One of the things we're trying to communicate to the public is to plan ahead and make adjustments based on that."
Roadway improvements are planned across the state ranging from repaving rural highways and building freeway-style interchanges, to widening and repaving interstates and tearing down and rebuilding bridges. Traffic delays resulting from the projects will include overnight lane restrictions as well as full road closures with major detours, he said.
"These projects are an essential part of our ongoing efforts to connect our communities and keep our economy strong," Stewart said. "We've planned this work to minimize inconvenience for drivers and residents, but we want everyone to be aware that there will be delays, restrictions and changes to your daily commute and other travels."
Among the major projects that drivers should be aware of is the reconstruction of sections of I-80 and I-215 on the east side of Salt Lake County. Crews will add a new eastbound lane on I-80 and reconstruct three bridges along the freeway at 1300 East, 1700 East and 2000 East — all aimed at reducing travel delays and improving the condition of the interstate.
"The good news is all three travel lanes will be open on both I-80 and I-215 during the morning and afternoon commute periods, then drivers should expect lane closures during the overnight hours and on weekends," explained UDOT I-80 project manager Becky Stromness.
"When we do the bridge replacement at 1300 East by Sugarhouse Park and 1700 East, we're going to implement a construction method where we build the new bridge directly adjacent to the old bridge, and then we'll have a weekend closure where we will come in and demolish and remove the old bridge, then slide the new bridge in position. There will only be the inconvenience for the single weekend and during the rest of the construction, those cross streets will remain open for drivers."
Construction on the $146.5 million project is scheduled to begin later next month and run into next year, she said.
Another major project already underway is the installation of three interchanges along Bangerter Highway in Salt Lake County.
UDOT is building new freeway-style interchanges on Bangerter Highway at 6200 South, 10400 South and 12600 South as a continuation of a multiyear effort to upgrade the roadway in order to meet increasing traffic demands in the western part of Salt Lake County.
"What this project will do is take out all of the intersections along Bangerter so it will be free-flow traffic when the corridor is all said and done from one end to the other," said UDOT Bangerter Interchanges resident engineer Mackenzie Smith. "The projects we're doing right now will have a free flow of traffic basically from 9800 (South) to 13400 (South), then north of that from 9800 (South) to 4700 (South)."
She said drivers can expect the closure of east-west 12600 South at Bangerter Highway to remain in place until August, with lower speed limits along the detour routes. For cyclists and pedestrians, 6200 South will remain closed to east-west traffic across Bangerter Highway through July, and drivers should also plan for the east-west closure of 10400 South at Bangerter Highway from May into November, she added.
Construction on the $221 million project began in May 2020, and most of the construction is expected to be completed by December, she said.
UDOT most impactful projects
- Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties: Bangerter Three Interchanges — Salt Lake County, $221 million.
- I-80 and I-215 Renewed; Salt Lake East — Salt Lake County, $146.5 million.
- State Route 248; S.R. 224 to U.S. 40 — Summit County, $3.1 million: UDOT will smooth out the driving surface along S.R. 248 by repaving the highway from S.R. 224 to the U.S. 40 interchange as well as make other upgrades along the corridor. Drivers can expect daytime lane closures and possible flagging throughout construction.
Davis, Weber, Morgan, Cache, Rich and Box Elder counties:
- I-15 Davis-Weber Express Lanes — Davis and Weber counties, $163 million: UDOT will widen I-15 to extend the express lanes from Layton Parkway to Riverdale Road as well as building new, widened bridges at Church Street and 200 South, and repaving and widening bridges at five additional locations, among other improvements. Construction began in summer 2018 and will continue into the fall.
- S.R. 53; 24th Street Viaduct Rehab — Weber County, $7.2 million: Crews will make upgrades to the 24th Street viaduct by repaving from A Avenue to Lincoln Avenue over the Union Pacific railroad yard into downtown Ogden. Construction started earlier this month and is scheduled for completion in September.
Utah, Juab, Wasatch, Duchesne, Uintah and Daggett counties
- U.S. 40; Starvation Reservoir Bridge Preservation — Duchesne County, $4.2 million: UDOT will smooth out the roadway along the Starvation Bridge on U.S. 40 in Duchesne County, and crews will upgrade the concrete surface of the bridge and the bridge barriers. Construction began earlier this month and will continue through late October.
- I-15; Northbound I-15 Bridge Ride Fix in American Fork — Utah County, $4.1 million: Workers will repair three bridges along northbound I-15 between the 500 East and Main Street interchanges in American Fork to even out the bumps. Construction will begin this summer.
- 2100 North Lehi (S.R. 194; I-15 to S.R. 68) — Utah County, $3.4 million: UDOT will repave 2100 North (S.R. 194) in Lehi from Redwood Road (S.R. 68) to Thanksgiving Way. Construction is expected to begin this month and be completed by June.
- S.R. 92 Alpine Loop (American Fork Canyon Seasonal Gate to U.S. 189 in Provo Canyon) — Utah County, $1 million: Crews will resurface the Alpine Loop (S.R. 92) from the Pine Hollow Trailhead to U.S. 189 in Provo Canyon. Construction is set to begin in May and is scheduled for completion in July.
Central and southern Utah
- U.S. 191; 400 North to Colorado River bridge — Grand County, $31.1 million: Workers will expand U.S. 191 in north Moab to four lanes and add a center turn lane for most of the length of the project. A new storm drain system is also being installed. Construction started last year and is scheduled for completion in June.
- I-15 over East Nichols Canyon Road — Iron County, $10.5 million: Beginning later this year, crews will replace two I-15 bridges in Cedar City with completion expected in 2022.