Heavy Weekend Traffic Expected

Heavy Weekend Traffic Expected

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Samantha Hayes ReportingGetting through Utah's Summer Cone Zone is a challenge on any day, but this Fourth of July, many drivers will see a whole lot of orange before any Red, White, and Blue.

AAA estimates that one in six people will travel 50 miles or more this weekend to destinations that include fireworks shows around the Salt Lake area. They suggest that those who do leave plenty of travel time.

Nothing seems to capture the meaning of Independence in America quite like jumping in the car and getting out of the city.

Kelley McCarthy/Traveler: “We are going to Flaming Gorge and we are going to stay a week."

For most Utahns getting there will involve the car.

Rolayne Fairclough/AAA Utah: “It's a summer holiday, people have their families with them, they like to have their cars when they go, they like to have their cars when they get there.”

And the busiest travel weekend of the summer would of course coincide with the busiest construction season of the year.

Tom Hudachko, Utah Department of Transportation: “We do as much to minimize the impact of our road construction of the public when they are traveling on these holiday weekends.”

But when it comes to major firework displays, there is no freedom from traffic.

Tom Hudachko, Utah Department of Transportation: “In most instances there is not going to be work going on in a lot of these construction projects, but there are some projects that are extensive enough that we are not able to tear down traffic control."

Those places are where you would expect, like at 12300 South on I-15. If you are heading to Provo on the Fourth UDOT says leave several hours early.

Tom Hudachko: “We expect for the Stadium of Fire traffic to be very heavy for about two hours prior to the event on all major routes leading up to the stadium."

Traffic is also expected to be heavy going into the new USANA amphitheatre from 5:30 to 7:00, and the annual fireworks show at Sugarhouse Park will also take some maneuvering; UDOT is closing I-80 at the 1300 east interchange.

Tom Hudachko: “Channeling people down to 700 East and then we'll have a dedicated through lane on 7th East that ships people up to 2100 South and they'll be able to access the park that way."

Of course, it’s always a good idea to check the department of transportation's web site before you leave.

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