It is a fact of life in Utah road construction throughout the state leads to orange barrels, narrow and restricted lanes and travel delays.
To address those annual headaches, at least this year, UDOT has announced Innovate I-80. The campaign is designed to make navigation through the construction as easy as possible, specifically on the I-80 corridor.
Jason Davis, UDOT Region 2 deputy director, said during a news conference that the only way large construction projects of this magnitude can be completed is with a lot of careful planning and coordination, by both the state and drivers.
"The only way we are going to see a savings in driver delays is by the driver looking at the Web site, paying attention to what is going on and planning around it," said Davis.
UDOT is using Innovate I-80 to keep the public informed about construction and major delays throughout the summer, so drivers can then plan accordingly.
Utilizing the same technology used to replace the bridge at I-215 and 4500 South last year, UDOT will be replacing more than 50 bridges throughout the state this summer. Eleven of those bridges are on I-80, with four in Parleys Canyon and seven to be replaced between 1300 East and State Street. The last bridge to be replaced this summer will be on I-215 at 3300 South.
The complex process involves constructing the bridge first and then moving the entire structure to its permanent location. Many of the bridges scheduled to be placed along I-80 are under construction at the 1300 East interchange.
Reconstruction of the interstate between 1300 East and State Street is nearly complete. Resurfacing will begin next Monday, but UDOT expects to keep traffic flowing with three lanes of travel during peak periods and cut down to two lanes when traffic is normally lighter.
However, projects manager Deryl Mayhew said drivers can expect full closures in August when the Lamb's Canyon and Mountain Dell bridges are replaced. Sections of westbound I-80 will close at 4 p.m. on Aug. 9. Then, at 7 p.m. on Aug. 16, sections of eastbound I-80 will close for another 24-hour period.Davis said the bridge replacement at I-215 will require a full weekend closure late in the summer. It is scheduled for Aug. 23, but that could change. However, Davis said UDOT will be diligent about keeping people informed about those dates as they approach. Full details are available by clicking on the Innovate I-80 link on UDOT's Web page, udot.utah.gov.