For the next year and a half, commuters between Utah and Salt Lake counties will have to endure a major construction project over a 7-mile stretch of Interstate 15, from State Road 92 in Lehi (aka the Thanksgiving Point exit) to 12300 South in Salt Lake County. But by fall 2016 there will be more lanes in each direction – for a total of six, or seven in one case – reducing congestion along that busy stretch.
For now, most of the impact of construction is on the Salt Lake County side, but not for long. Road work will start in Utah County by the end of March or beginning of April, said John Gleason, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation.
Gleason said the reason that area was targeted for the $252 million project is the age of the road.
“This is original I-15 built back in the 1960s,” he said. “It’s a 50-plus-year-old freeway.” During the past few years there have been “concrete blowups” in the area caused by aging road and high temperatures.
The HOV lane will be open throughout the construction project to keep traffic moving and four lanes open during busy commute times, Gleason said. There will be nighttime work that will close lanes, but the goal is for those to reopen in time for the morning commute.
But even though four lanes will be open most of the time, those lanes are narrower — 11 feet. And the speed limit is down from 70 mph to 55.
And if you’re wondering how they’re going to build two more lanes in each direction along the Point of the Mountain — get off I-15 at 14600 South and look north, Gleason said. You’ll see that workers have been prepping to add the lanes for the last few months.
Gleason said UDOT officials know there are other stretches of I-15 or other state roads that need work, but the agency has to prioritize projects, and these 7 miles were the greatest need.
To stay up-to-date on the project, check the website at udot.utah.gov/thepoint, call 1-855-POINT15 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.