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Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Pothole repair work causes major delays on southbound I-15 from Pleasant Grove to Provo on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010.

UTAH COUNTY — Motorists experienced long delays Thursday on I-15 through Utah County as Utah Department of Transportation crews shut down some lanes to fix potholes.

Thursday afternoon, UDOT reported that the back up between Orem and Pleasant Grove southbound was about an hour. The commute from Lehi to Provo took almost 30 minutes, approximately three times longer than normal.

The work began at 8 a.m. Thursday and was to continue through 5:30 a.m. Friday. Also Friday, all southbound lanes at the Spanish Fork interchange will be closed from 7 p.m. until midnight.

Restrictions for southbound traffic began with one lane closed in Pleasant Grove. Traffic then narrowed down to one lane by 800 North in Orem and continued until University Parkway. Also, southbound University Parkway to University Avenue was narrowed to one lane from 2-7 p.m.

UDOT said the asphalt hot mix requires warmer temperatures, so the repair work must be done during the daytime. UDOT warned of one- to two-hour delays and advised motorists to avoid I-15 in Utah County if possible and take State Street or Geneva Road.

"We're really running into some safety issues with the amount of potholes and the severity of them that we have now," UDOT spokesman Scott Thompson said.

Changing temperatures, heavy rain and snow, and sections of crumbling asphalt have added to the problem.

Motorists have noticed the bumpy conditions.

"I was driving to Salt Lake going northbound on I-15 and there were just a lot of potholes along the road," said Dave Diehl. "I ended up hitting one of them and it blew out a tire. It was just pretty nuts, it was just crazy."

A tire store near 1600 North in Orem said three people came in Wednesday for repair of flat tires. And 10 people were outside a Maverik gas station at 800 North Thursday morning. They needed emergency tire repair as well.

Portions of the roadway will be resurfaced in multiple sections as a longer-term solution until the pavement is replaced with a more durable, 40-year concrete as part of the I-15 CORE project.

Contributing: Logan Daniels

e-mail: aforester@desnews.com