Construction on I80 almost complete
September 29, 2015
Traffic on Interstate 80 between the U.S. 40 interchange and Wanship will be returning to normal soon. The Utah Department of Transportation’s two-year repavement project is nearly complete and all four lanes are expected to open within a few weeks.
Paul Sharwell, a Tollgate Canyon resident, said he is looking forward to being able to access the exit to his neighborhood again. Sharwell said the construction lengthened his daily commute at least 20 minutes "on a good day."
"You are basically going an extra 10 miles, but if one car overheats you could be stuck there for two hours," Sharwell said, adding it has happened to him. "It has been two really long years. Last year was really painful and this year was really painful. It has been tough."
Tuesday, traffic was shifted onto one of the newly constructed westbound lanes and the Tollgate/Promontory on and off westbound ramps were opened. However, one lane will remain closed in each direction.
"Everyone is rejoicing," Sharwell said.
Since April, traffic has been reduced to one lane in each direction for the second phase of the repavement project. The first phase shut down portions of the eastbound lanes in 2014.
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A bridge near milepost 153, about three miles west of Wanship, was reconstructed and also opened on Tuesday. The speed limit will remain 45 miles per hour until the project is complete. Both projects are part of UDOT’s Renovate I-80 initiative.
"With all of the heavy traffic that we see on I-80, it’s important to keep that Interstate in good shape because it is one of four major thoroughfares in our state," John Gleason, a UDOT public information officer, said. "We’re heading into the home stretch and the project should be wrapping up in a few weeks. There is light at the end of the tunnel."
Most of UDOT’s construction projects will be wrapping up, Gleason said.
"As we head into the winter we can get some work done, but mainly we plan our season from March through October," he said.
According to a UDOT press release, construction schedules are weather dependent and subject to change.