SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 20, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Department of Transportation is advising Wasatch Front drivers to plan ahead for Thanksgiving holiday travel, and expect heavy delays of up to 45 minutes on Interstate 15 during the evening commute this Wednesday.
Engineers anticipate a 25 percent increase in cars on the road Tuesday and Wednesday evening, compared to a typical weekday commute of about 200,000 cars per day, according to a news release from UDOT. Traffic is expected to be heavier than normal Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m., and Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. UDOT recommends leaving early in the day or late in the evening to help reduce congestion.
Several of UDOT’s Top 10 Projects for 2017 have recently opened or are scheduled to open in time for Thanksgiving travel and the holiday shopping season, the news release adds. The new Bangerter Highway interchange at 7000 South; the I-215 west belt reconstruction from S.R. 201 to 4700 South; and the Mountain View Corridor extension from 5400 South to 4100 South all opened during the past few days. Two more projects — I-15 from Brigham Road to Dixie Drive in St. George, and the I-15/10600 South interchange in Sandy — are scheduled to open by Wednesday, Nov. 22.
UDOT also advises drivers to plan ahead for heavy traffic near retail centers on Black Friday. Many larger malls and shopping centers are located near freeway interchanges, and congestion may extend from local streets onto the freeway. Motorists should use caution and expect delays if planning travel near shopping centers this weekend.
Across the state, most UDOT projects will suspend construction and open all lanes to improve traffic flow Wednesday through Sunday for the Thanksgiving holiday. However, existing restrictions or traffic shifts will remain in place where needed to protect the work zone and ensure safety. Some areas where drivers should expect restrictions include:
- I-70 near Richfield: I-70 is reduced to one lane in each direction between exit 37 and milepost 43 near Richfield, and the speed limit has been lowered to 60 miles per hour in the work zone. Crews are reconstructing a 4-mile section of the interstate with new pavement. Work on the project will be suspended in early December, then resume next spring when the weather warms up. Construction is scheduled to be complete in spring 2018.
- S.R. 9 in Springdale: a 1-mile section of S.R. 9 in Springdale will remain reduced to one lane, with flaggers controlling traffic. Drivers should expect heavy delays due to increased holiday traffic and plan accordingly. UDOT is reconstructing S.R. 9 from Springdale to Zion National Park, adding new pavement, wider sidewalks, and bicycle lanes. Construction on this project is scheduled for completion in April 2018.
For the latest information on traffic restrictions during construction, visit the UDOT Traffic website or download the UDOT Traffic app for iPhone or Android.