If you want your mail to arrive quickly, you had better make sure your correspondents have the right ZIP code, especially if you live in east Provo.
Beginning Jan. 1, residences and businesses east of, but not including, University Avenue (U.S. 189) and south from Eighth North and 820 North will have a new ZIP code - 84606.The change accommodates a growing community and will allow the postal service to speed mail distribution time. Mail will not be returned if it has the improper ZIP code, just delayed, said Richard Woolums, Provo postmaster.
"We've anticipated this for a couple years," he said. "We are always looking to the future to determine if additional ZIP codes are needed."
By adding another ZIP code, sorting will become easier for postal clerks, he said. Each night when clerks sort mail, they have to keep in mind streets for the different routes in a ZIP code area.
It is easier for them to sort the mail when there are fewer line items to remember, he said. Increased deliveries in the area have created a need for the new ZIP code.
"If it didn't change for a long period, eventually it would slow down service," Woolums said. "By making a separation, we improve distribution time and get the mail out that morning or that day."
Residences and businesses will have some time to make the transition, he said. Most will take up to six months to change stationary and business cards.
"That's fine," he said. "We just hope they will change it as soon as they can so it will make sorting easier."
Provo ZIP codes have not changed for seven years.