State Route 224 to completely open in time for July 4 | ParkRecord.com

State Route 224 to completely open in time for July 4

David Burger, The Park Record

After what seemed like a long month for travelers, State Route 224 will be free of construction for the Fourth of July and afterward.

The Utah Department of Transportation began repaving the route from the I-80 interchange at Kimball Junction to Bear Hollow Drive on June 2, as well as adding a shoulder for shared use by Park City Transit buses and bicyclists. New detection equipment was also being installed at various traffic signals within the project area.

Construction will be completed on July 2, said John Gleason, spokesman for UDOT.

The project often snarled traffic around Kimball Junction and into Park City. It also increased the number of cars on an alternate route to Park City through Kearns Boulevard and U.S. 40., with drivers changing their routes to escape traffic on State Route 224.

Laura Bilawa, co-owner of bike shop Storm Cycles at Kimball Junction, said the repaving impacted the shop’s business. "We’ve had people complaining," she said. "We have had customers say they couldn’t pick up their bikes because they didn’t want to get stuck in traffic Several mornings we’ve had to come the back way [to get to work]."

Candice Wilson, general manager of Tanger Outlets at Kimball Junction, though, said she hadn’t received any complaints from customers in the past month about traffic. She said the outlets’ management team was able to work closely with UDOT during the reconstruction.

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Now that the work is done, traffic should flow more smoothly just in time to accommodate the increase in visitors over the holiday weekend.

The other major highway construction project in Summit County is the ongoing UDOT reconstruction of a seven-mile section of I-80 between Silver Creek and Wanship. New concrete pavement is being added, with the goal of prolonging the life of the roadway, according to an UDOT update.

Crews will reconstruct the eastbound lanes in 2014 and westbound lanes in 2015, said Gleason. Traffic will be shifted to the opposite side of the road during construction, creating one lane of travel in each direction. Depending on the travel direction, travelers will have to bypass the Tollgate Canyon exit (150) and turn around either in Wanship (Exit 155) or Silver Creek / I-40 (Exit 146). Construction will be suspended for the winter in November and in April, 2015 construction will resume, Gleason added.

Residents in the area have been upset by the detours and delays because of the possibility of impeded evacuations should there be a wildfire or other emergency, as well as the inconvenience of driving up to 10 miles out of their way to get to Park City, Salt Lake City or Evanston on I-80.

For more information about these and other UDOT projects, visit udottraffic.utah.gov.