Major construction projects on I-80 set to begin on Monday |

Major construction projects on I-80 set to begin on Monday

The Utah Department of Transportation will soon begin work on adding another westbound climbing lane between Jeremy Ranch and Parley’s Summit on Interstate 80, a wildlife overpass and controversial noise barrier. Construction on the additional lane is scheduled to start on Monday.
Courtesy of the Utah Department of Transportation

The Utah Department of Transportation is scheduled to kick off the summer road construction season on Monday in Summit County, beginning with three major projects along Interstate 80.

UDOT has allocated $17 million to add another westbound climbing lane between Jeremy Ranch and Parley’s Summit. An additional $5 million from the Utah Transportation Commission will be used for wildlife mitigation along the interstate, including the construction of the state’s first wildlife overpass and three more miles of wildlife fencing.

As part of the work being done along that stretch of the interstate, UDOT also plans to begin construction on a controversial noise barrier along the length of the climbing lane. It will be the first of its kind in Summit County and follows a heated community debate during the planning phase of the barrier last year.

John Montoya. UDOT’s project manager, also highlighted another project scheduled for this summer. Approximately seven miles of the interstate between Lambs Canyon and just west of Kimball Junction will be repaved over the summer in both directions. It is not linked to the other three projects.

Montoya said the additional climbing lane is a safety measure.

“There have been some rear-end accidents because there is a differential speed between the trucks and the traveling traffic,” he said.

Road crews are expected to begin preparing the roads on Monday beginning at 7 p.m. for the additional climbing lane. Interstate 80 will be reduced to one westbound lane overnight for nearly two weeks while crews prepare the striping, according to Montoya.

“It will be back to three lanes every morning, and then we will do the same thing where we reduce lanes at night,” he said.

Barriers will be placed along the interstate to protect workers and divert traffic away from the work zone, Montoya said. Once that is complete, crews will switch to daytime work behind the barriers and periodically close a lane during off-peak hours.

“It will remain at least two lanes, except at night,” he said. “When we get far enough along, though, there will be some full closures.”

Montoya said details about the closures and their impact on traffic will be made available prior to the closures.

Later this summer, crews will begin work on the wildlife overpass near Parley’s Summit. The proposed location for the bridge is at Parleys Summit in Salt Lake County. Montoya said commuters can expect some overnight closures of the interstate in both directions once crews are ready to set the bridge’s beams in place.

“We don’t have a good handle on when that time frame will be yet until we get underway and start going,” he said. “But, we can’t put those beams in place while there is traffic underneath.”

The bridge is expected to be complete in November, while Montoya anticipates the additional climbing lane will be done in October.

The construction of the noise barrier, between Jeremy Ranch and Parley’s Summit, is the third project under the $22 million allocation.

The idea for the barrier came after UDOT completed a noise study in anticipation of construction of the new climbing lane. Officials recommended an 18-foot concrete wall to mitigate traffic noises near Jeremy Ranch. After the public pushed back against the design, UDOT determined a combination berm/wall would meet federal guidelines and adhere to UDOT’s Noise Abatement Policy.

UDOT announced in December that 93 percent of the 27 property owners polled in the area were in favor of the noise barrier, which will have panels ranging between 7 and 17 feet on top of a variable-height berm.

“Right now we have that scheduled for mid-to-late summer,” Montoya said.

For more information on any of these projects, visit this site.

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