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Jed Boal ReportingYou should quickly discover fewer headaches commuting at the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. The Utah Department of Transportation today pulled the orange barrels from I-15 after adding lanes.
UDOT calls it one of the most important projects since the main I-15 reconstruction three years ago. Extra lanes will help your travel time. But UDOT says the real key to less traffic congestion is carpooling.
John Njord, UDOT Executive Director: “If you have a traffic headache, the cure is carpooling.”
Road crews opened nine more miles of carpool lanes and travel lanes on I-15 in the south part of the Salt Lake Valley, from 106th South all the way to the Alpine Interchange.
John Njord, UDOT Executive Director: “We've been waiting for this for a long time. We're excited about being able to decongest this part of the valley."
Governor Olene Walker says colleagues of hers made it from Utah County to Salt Lake today a half hour quicker than usual.
Governor Olene Walker: “They said it was a miracle. We didn't stop. We just kept coming from Utah County. That's never happened before."
Carpooling is another way for those commuters to trim travel time. So you'll start to see this clever campaign: "Carpool...the cure for what's delaying you...and the cure for the common commute."
Now, you can also find carpooling companions online. The widening will likely shift the congestion down to Utah County, but UDOT hopes to cure that problem soon too.
John Njord: "We would like to continue this same type of project all the way through Utah County to the University Avenue interchange."
If UDOT can get the money to build it, working with the legislature, they could start in Utah County next year.