Think you can avoid freeway reconstruction by getting out of the Salt Lake Valley this summer?
Don't be so sure.
If you head east on I-80, the Utah Department of Transportation will have two familiar-looking reconstruction corridors waiting for you.
UDOT has begun rebuilding two segments of I-80 in Summit County and by the first week in June should have 14 miles of I-80 restricted to just one lane of traffic in each direction, separated by concrete barriers.
The first reconstruction zone is 9 miles long, beginning at the Silver Creek Junction where I-80 meets U.S. 40 and stretching east to Wanship. Traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction beginning the first week of June, and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph. The work and lane restrictions will continue into October.
A few miles up the freeway, UDOT is reconstructing a 5-mile segment between Coalville and Echo. Traffic will be reduced to single lanes beginning May 26, the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend. The speed limit will be reduced to 55 mph. The work and lane restrictions will end in September.
In both locations, UDOT crews will move all traffic onto one side of the existing freeway and rebuild the other half. About two months later, crews will switch traffic onto the completed side and finish the project.
The work zones will look a lot like I-15 in Salt Lake County, except traffic will be squeezed into a single lane in each direction.
"You need to expect some delays, especially with the great amount of commercial truck traffic," said UDOT spokeswoman Andrea Packer. "But overall (traffic) volumes are not near what they are in the metropolitan area. These are very typical traffic-control measures for projects like this out in more rural areas."
Traffic in the two reconstruction corridors will be restricted at all times, including throughout the Fourth of July holiday weekend. During the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, traffic will be restricted only on the segment between Coalville and Echo.
The two projects will cost more than $18 million - $11.4 million for the larger segment and $6.8 million for the shorter one.
Both involve reconstructing the interstate from the road base up, but the freeway will not be widened in either stretch. It will remain two lanes in each direction.
The work is a continuation of the I-80 maintenance program that invaded Parleys Canyon last summer. No major work is scheduled for I-80 in Parleys this year, although some pothole repair and other routine maintenance may occur.