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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Major Construction Will Cause Delays on I-15 In Provo Area

I-15, one of Utah's most important arteries, is about to undergo major surgery and the result will be temporary traffic delays in the Provo/Orem area.

I-15 runs north-south through Utah. It carries most of the traffic along the densely populated Wasatch Front (from Ogden on the north, through Salt Lake City and south through Provo.) The new construction will take place in Utah County. Early phases are already underway. Major work with begin in later April or early May and continue through Dec 2012.

The Utah Department of Transportation website will have updated info on the project as it unfolds.

The Deseret News has this article about the project. Below are excerpts.

Somewhat similar to the I-15 reconstruction in Salt Lake County prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics, I-15 Core is a reconstruction of 24 miles of freeway in Utah County, from Lehi Main Street to a mile south of Spanish Fork Main Street. I-15 Core will bring two new travel lanes in both directions, 10 new and improved interchanges and a widening of 55 bridges.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Utah County had 530,000 residents in 2008. By 2020, the governor expects 725,000 residents and the freeway reconstruction is necessary to accommodate the growth, Herbert said.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article. Below are excerpts.

Motorists in Utah County will start seeing the telltale orange barrels on the side of the freeway during the next two weeks, and state highway officials say the major traffic shifts - and inevitable delays - will begin in late April or early May. Interstate widening season is about to begin, and this time it will be the biggest public-works price tag in Utah history. Provo River Constructors, a 31-company consortium headed by Fluor Enterprises and Ames Construction, has a $1.1 billion contract to rebuild and widen Interstate 15 from Lehi to Spanish Fork. In all, the project will cost the state more than $1.7 billion.

It will cost commuters a little time, but for a shorter period than they experienced on the I-15 project in Salt Lake County. "Yes, it's going to be painful," Provo River project manager Tuhr Barnes said, but the contractors are on a schedule unprecedented for a billion-dollar project in the state. Construction will wrap up in less than three years, by December 2012. Usually a billion-dollar project takes four to five years, Barnes said.

he contractors have pledged to keep most segments flowing with the same number of lanes - sometimes moved to temporary pavement on the sides, sometimes shifted to narrowed lanes on the other side of the freeway divide - during daylight hours.

One exception, though, starts by May and lasts about five months, between University Parkway and Provo's Center Street. There, the three southbound lanes will shrink to two, Utah Department of Transportation project director Dal Hawks said. Most of next month's work will involve preparations such as grinding down the shoulder rumble strips and adding temporary pavement for planned lane shifts, Hawks said.

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