Repaving of Interstate 80 will periodically reduce lanes
Traffic on Interstate 80 could be especially difficult this summer once the Utah Department of Transportation begins a project to repave both directions of the interstate between Kimball Junction and Lamb’s Canyon.
Starting on Sunday, crews are expected to begin preparing to replace the top inch of asphalt. Orange construction barrels and signs are already in place to warn drivers of the upcoming project.
Road crews will mill and resurface the road to extend the life of the pavement and provide a smoother driving surface. The work is scheduled to last until the fall.
The work will start at the Lamb’s Canyon on- and off-ramps and then will move to the ramps at Parleys Summit, according to UDOT. The paving is scheduled to occur overnight Sundays through Fridays between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Overnight lane closures can be expected.
The interstate will remain mostly open in each direction during high-commute hours, which are generally between 6 and 9 a.m. for the westbound lanes and from 3 to 6 p.m. for the eastbound lanes, according to John Montoya, a UDOT project manager.
“The ramps will never be closed, but there will be lane restrictions at times,” he said. “Once that is done, we will switch to repaving the mainline and that will cause a bigger issue. We will be down to two lanes at a time in one direction, but it will never be both at the same time.”
UDOT is planning to repave the interstate while another project to add an additional climbing lane is already underway in the same area. However, the work is unrelated. UDOT typically repaves roads every five to seven years. UDOT is spending nearly $22 million to add another westbound climbing lane between Jeremy Ranch and Parleys Summit.
“They have been excavating that out for the extra lane to bring up the good dirt and that has included some drainage work,” Montoya said.
About $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. The location of the bridge is at Parleys Summit in Salt Lake County.
Crews working on the wildlife overpass are building temporary structures to support the base of the bridge, according to UDOT. Montoya said that project is proceeding as planned and is still scheduled to be complete in November.
For more information about the road work on Interstate 80 go to http://www.udot.utah.gov/renovate-I-80/.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.