Delays expected on I-80
March 22, 2006
Work began this week on a section of Interstate 80 between Snyderville and Wanship and commuters should expect delays.
While crews repair two bridges "Interstate 80 is going to be restricted to one lane," said Utah Department of Transportation spokeswoman Bethany Eller.
"They are basically replacing the bridges," she said, adding that the structures were constructed in 1965. "They are going to merge the traffic so that it’s one lane in each direction."
Work began Monday on the westbound lanes, said Shauna Scow, an employee at a convenience store in Wanship.
Almost two weeks ago, workers set up a crane in the town they will use to replace sections of the bridge, she added.
Scow expects a boon in business when crews begin repairing eastbound lanes.
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"I think it will affect us more," she said. "It will be positive, more foot traffic."
While crews repair the westbound bridge, traffic will be diverted from that side of the freeway onto eastbound Interstate 80, where vehicles are restricted to one lane, Eller said.
When the eastbound bridge is replaced, westbound traffic will be restricted to one lane and the I-80 eastbound on-ramp in Wanship will be closed, she added.
"We’ll just have to jump on Hoytsville Road and take it to Coalville there will be some traffic on the county roads that we see more than we normally would," Summit County Engineer Derrick Radke said.
The ramp closure, however, concerns Wanship restaurateur Don Woolstenhulme.
"My biggest concern is the fact that about 80 to 85 percent of our business is out of Salt Lake City," Woolstenhulme said. "If they end up closing the off-ramp into Wanship that would most definitely affect us throughout the summer. It would probably cut our business two-thirds in the summer."
Though the on-ramps could remain closed for 60 days this summer, Eller says there are no plans to prevent motorists from exiting eastbound I-80 into Wanship.
"That’s always a concern when we’re doing our projects we try to work with the business on a case-by-case basis," Eller said. "That (ramp) closure will last for 60 days."
The repairs aren’t scheduled for completion until fall and work is planned Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Crews don’t plan to work on Sundays or holiday weekends, she said.
"Traffic seems to be pretty heavy up until the Silver Creek Junction and afterwards it drops down significantly," Eller said.
According to Eller, the project has a $3.2 million budget and was approved by the Utah Transportation Commission. Wadsworth Brothers Construction was awarded the contract.
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