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UTAH COUNTY -- One Utah state road hammered by snow storms in the past will get a major overhaul.
SR 92 in Utah County is congested daily and can be impassable at times in the winter. A new Utah Department of Transportation expansion project on SR 92 won't stop the storms, but it will improve safety and travel time on regular days.
A blizzard in February 2008 stranded more than one hundred motorists on SR 92 for hours. Tow truck driver Rob Face helped dig cars out the next morning.
"The vehicles were completely covered with snow, so we didn't even know vehicles were there until you see a mirror out of the snowbank," Face told KSL News.
That storm exposed a serious problem: SR 92 is the only major corridor into Alpine, Highland, Cedar Hills and northeast Lehi.
"It gets pretty congested, especially when the weather is bad. And taking my son back and forth to school can be pretty treacherous," said Lehi resident Jackie Proulx.
Thousands of vehicles travel the road every day. People who use it regularly are eager for the finished road.
"It's pretty difficult, especially during high peak traffic hours, such as 8 o'clock in the morning and 5 to 6 o'clock at night," said Highland resident David Park.
Like many other areas along the Wasatch Front, the community has outgrown the road.
"It should have been done before they allowed that population to grow out there, so that they have access for emergency crews," said Lehi resident Ronnie Crump.
UDOT animation on its website gives you a pretty good idea of what the finished road will look like. [CLICK HERE to see UDOT's video]
Light construction started last month, major work begins in the spring. Crews will widen SR 92 to five lanes for most of the 6-mile corridor.
"We're also planning for future growth in this area, so we need to add some capacity to this road," said UDOT spokesman Scott Thompson.
UDOT will also build commuter lanes from Interstate 15 to Highland Boulevard. Those cars won't stop at traffic signals, giving them a smooth ride at peak hours.
"People want to get from home to I-15 as quickly as possible and easily as possible. So we thought, how can we best accommodate that need? And we came up with this commuter lane idea," Thompson said.
UDOT expects to complete the $139 million job in 2012.