Construction crews replacing bridges in Parleys Canyon will face the tightest time frame workers using accelerated bridge construction techniques have had to operate within, but the methods will undoubtedly still frustrate motorists as a major transportation corridor is closed for 24 hours on each of two consecutive weekends.
Traffic will be disrupted, but those planning to attend musical events in Deer Valley will be accommodated.
Beginning Saturday at 4 p.m. the Utah Department of Transportation will close westbound lanes through Parleys Canyon until 4 p.m. on Aug. 10. In this time crews with Mammoet, the Wadsworth Brothers and UDOT will replace overpasses at East Canyon and Lambs Canyon.
Closures will happen again for the replacement of the two bridges on the east side on Aug. 16 beginning at 7 p.m. The road will open again on Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.
"You can't tear an existing structure down without closing the lane," said Deryl Mayhew, resident engineer over the project for UDOT. "Using rapid bridge technologies we are able to complete these replacements in a 24-hour period, and that is saving millions in delay costs."
UDOT has completed other projects using accelerated bridge construction methods such as the one at 4500 South and the seven structures placed along I-80 between 1300 East and State Street.
The bridges that will replace their predecessors at both East and Lambs canyons have already been constructed adjacent to the roadway and will be lifted and moved into place using a self-propelled modular transport device.
Mayhew said that if the replacements project were using previous construction methods, UDOT would have been required to move both east and westbound traffic onto two lanes while the bridges on either side of the interstate were replaced. This process of building each bridge from its base to the deck has taken up to nine months in previous projects, Mayhew said. He said according to time analysis estimates conducted by UDOT, accelerated bridge construction has saved more than 190,000 hours in delays.
Motorists forced to cancel plans or to take detours through Provo Canyon along U.S. 189 or through the Morgan Valley on I-84 during construction may be more concerned about the time and gasoline they're losing instead. On a typical day, an estimated 4,300 cars enter the month of Parleys Canyon, said Adan Carrillo, UDOT's public information officer.
The Utah Symphony &Opera has adjusted its summer concert series to accommodate the travel plans of their patrons during the two weekends. USO canceled a performance scheduled for Saturday, in Deer Valley because patrons from the Salt Lake area couldn't travel home once the show ended.
For the Gladys Knight concert on Aug. 16, also in Deer Valley, UDOT delayed the start time of construction along the eastbound lanes until 7 p.m. so patrons would have time to make the show's opening at 7:30. Both UDOT and the USO are encouraging those planning to attend Knight's show to leave early so they won't be turned back by Utah Highway Patrol once construction begins.
"Right now we've sold the event to about half-capacity," said Jana Allred, public relations manager for USO. "With walk-ins and another week of sales ahead though, were anticipating the show will sell out."
On Aug. 15 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform at Deer Valley, and Allred hopes those attending Knight's show will make a weekend of the two events in Park City. Both the Park City Chamber of Commerce and USO are offering discounted rates at hotels and restaurants during the weekend on their Web sites to encourage people to stick around.For information on the replacement projects UDOT is encouraging motorists log on to www.udot.utah.gov/innovate80 or to tune to AM stations 1300 or 1530, depending on their location in the state, for updates.