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University Parkway opens in time for high school graduations

Published: Monday, May 21 2012 3:33 p.m. MDT

OREM — The road construction in Utah County has been quite an ordeal for thousands of drivers — especially since the I-15 Corridor Expansion project began in April 2010.

But at least one major closure will be over in time to help alleviate some of the traffic strain for scores of high school graduates on their big day.

Utah County’s first continuous flow intersection is scheduled to open Tuesday morning at University Parkway and Sandhill Road near Utah Valley University in Orem.

The Utah Department of Transportation expects more than 30,000 high school graduates and their friends and family to use the new CFI to access the UVU campus for graduation ceremonies over the next few weeks.

The completion of that segment of the project marked a major milestone in the overall project's scheduling, according to I-15 CORE director Todd Jensen.

"Now we're going to be up to full capacity at this intersection, and the traveling public will get to reap those benefits," he said.

"There are approximately 20 high school graduations that are going to take place at UVU in the next two weeks," Jensen explained. "We're pleased to have this intersection open to help handle all of that traffic."

He said the main advantage of the CFI would be the improved flow of traffic, particularly left-hand turns.

"(The CFI) should make this intersection much more efficient," Jensen said.

The intersection at University Parkway and Sandhill Road is used by nearly 70,000 cars per day, according to UDOT. The new CFI configuration is expected to improve the flow of traffic through the intersection by 20 percent and will enhance safety for drivers turning left from University Parkway onto Sandhill Road, Jensen said.

A tutorial on the CFI and how drivers can navigate it is available online at udot.utah.gov.

“We’re working to educate drivers on the benefits of this new intersection and how to navigate it,” said Jensen. “We especially encourage graduating seniors and their families to learn how the intersection works before they drive through it.”

The I-15 CORE is scheduled for completion in December.

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com

Twitter: JasenLee1

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