A semitrailer crash has closed all but two lanes of northbound I-15 near Center Street in North Salt Lake. Authorities say the interstate will be affected well into the evening hours.

The Utah Highway Patrol said an oversized load tipped over near the I-215 merge, affecting all lanes of traffic.

"It's a vessel of some kind. It's empty, but it's 110-feet long and about 210,000 pounds," UHP trooper Cameron Roden said Tuesday afternoon.

Roden said the 18-wheel semitrailer was merging from I-215 onto I-15 northbound when the back end started to sway and it tipped over. The driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to Bountiful's Lakeview Hospital to be treated.

By 4 p.m., a crane had barely arrived on scene to begin clearing up the crash. The UHP anticipates that I-15 will be snarled for much of the evening while the accident is cleared up. The Utah Department of Transportation said

The timing of the crash couldn't come at a worse time. The afternoon commute is typically clogged going into Davis County. On Tuesday, it was a nightmare of frustrated drivers trying to merge.

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While road signs were activated, a common complaint in the already construction-beleaguered I-15 corridor is that there is not enough notice to merge into open lanes. UDOT spokesman Adan Carrillo said Tuesday that they try to provide ample notice. Overhead signs were activated to warn of delays from the crash.

"A lot of it is common sense, really," he said. "If people don't merge until the last minute we can't help it."

The UHP said often its troopers are too busy dealing with the crash itself to provide traffic direction.

"The only thing we can encourage is for people to plan ahead and be prepared if they see a construction zone," Roden said.

In this case, UHP officials are encouraging drivers to find alternate routes, including U.S. 89 and Redwood Road.


E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com