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Motorists should expect more delays

Congestion in Parleys Canyon hopefully did not deter too many from leaving the Wasatch Front last weekend to beat the heat in Park City.

Road crews will shift into high gear again this Saturday, but transportation officials are promising fewer delays as they finish bridge maintenance in Parleys. Drivers should watch for construction and brace for slowdowns along eastbound Interstate 80 near Lambs Canyon and Mountain Dell.

"We’ll be going in and we’ll be finishing eastbound," said Tony Lau, a Utah Department of Transportation resident engineer. "We considered several different options on how to phase this work and our final decision was that we would have this take place over two weekends, last weekend and this coming up weekend."

Motorists should expect slowdowns on eastbound I-80 Saturday evening when traffic is reduced to two lanes, he said.

"We shouldn’t see very significant delays, but there may be some early in the evening," Lau said.

Crews expect to complete the work by about 2 p.m. on Sunday. But the road construction is already creating headaches for businesses in the Park City area.

"We got some calls," UDOT spokesman Adan Carrillo said. "Some people actually did postpone their events because they knew they were going to be impacted pretty heavily because of that."

Restaurants may suffer the most from summer road projects.

"This last weekend was the first weekend that we saw significant delays," said Bill Malone, executive director of the Park City Chamber/Bureau. "I talked to people and it took them an extra 20 to 30 minutes in terms of making the trip."

The project impacted some visitors more than others, Malone said.

"Those that are here to spend the weekend and are staying up here, I think they would be less impacted because they have made a commitment and they’re not just up here for a couple hours," Malone said. "Those who are coming up for dinner, yeah, it could have a negative impact when someone says, ‘Let’s go to dinner.’ And someone says, ‘No, I hear the traffic is really bad.’"

"We have a very short summer in terms of trying to do some business. And we’re doing a lot of our marketing in the Wasatch Front his year. So it is important," he added.

Parkite Hilary Reiter said she became stuck while rushing her friend to the airport in Salt Lake City Saturday afternoon.

"It took us almost two hours to get down there," Reiter said.

Salt Lake City resident Troy Rawlings, who went mountain biking in Park City Sunday morning, was delayed for about 20 minutes driving home.

"I was enraged," Rawlings said.

Meanwhile, work began this week on a stretch on State Road 224 between Kearns Boulevard and Bear Hollow Drive.

"It is a fairly long stretch of the road and it does go through the heart of the city," Lau said.

But the maintenance project should not cause major delays as most of the work occurs at night, Carrillo stressed.

"You’re probably not going to see a whole lot of work impacting people during the day," Carrillo said. "We want to make sure that traffic is moving during the day."

Access to businesses along State Road 224 will be maintained.

"These businesses are our neighbors," Lau said. "We really take very seriously maintaining access to these businesses during construction."

The resurfacing of State Road 224 should be complete in early September, he said.

"We’re going to be getting the work done while most people are sleeping and it really should minimize the impacts while we’re up there in Park City this summer," Lau added.


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