The Utah Department of Transportation has opened bids on the fourth in a series of five projects to construct the westbound lanes of I-70 from Fremont Junction east to Rattlesnake Bench in Emery County.

The current project calls for the construction of a 12.6-mile section from west of Fremont Junction to east of Muddy Creek.Three contractors submitted bids on the project, with W. W. Clyde and Co. of Springville submitting the low bid of $20,888,885. That is about $2.7 million below the official UDOT estimate.

The contract will not be awarded until the bid is reviewed to make certain no errors were made and that all highway requirements were met.

The project involves construction of two westbound lanes, including grading work, installation of drainage structures, bituminous surfacing and a major interchange at Muddy Creek. Also included in the project is a major rehabilitation of the existing eastbound lanes of traffic.

The 46-mile section of I-70 from Fremont Junction to Rattlesnake Bench has only the eastbound lanes complete and is being used by eastbound and westbound traffic.

Those 46 miles have been broken into four sections for construction, plus a fifth project for the construction of a major steel arch bridge over Eagle Canyon. Bids for all projects except the Eagle Canyon Bridge have been opened.

Work on the Fremont Junction to Muddy Creek section of I-70 is expected to cause major traffic delays. There will be extensive truck traffic hauling road base materials, plus rehabilitation on the eastbound lanes.

Work is expected to begin this fall. The contract allows 240 working days, or approximately two years, for completion.