The Point-of-the-Mountain stretch of Interstate-15 hasn’t been improved for about 50 years, and with several incidents of the road buckling in the summer heat, the Utah Department of Transportation is stepping in to repair the aging roadway.
"You have these buckling incidents that we've experienced this year," says John Gleason, spokesperson for UDOT. "This is a project that's going to come in and replace the current pavement and address some of those issues."
The plan is for contractors to widen the I-15 from four or five lanes to six between Lehi and Draper and replace the bridges at the Bluffdale Interchange. The repairs should take nearly two years to complete.
Highway planners say the goal is to maintain freeway capacity during the construction, and Gleason says much of the construction will take place when most people are asleep.
"We're going to do most of the work in the overnight hours, at least in the off-peak hours, out of the morning and afternoon rush hours," he said. "We're going to try to keep most of the existing lanes open right now so that commuters won't really even notice that many delays — at least construction related — during the project.
UDOT is assembling a project team to issue bid documents to possible contractors. The plan is to select a contractor by early 2014 and begin construction by the spring. The project will cost around $247 million dollars.
Eric is from Las Vegas, Nevada and studies broadcast journalism at Utah State. In joining the Utah Public Radio family, he has now delved into each of the "Big Three" of journalism: print, television and radio. His dream is to someday live and report the news in Chicago, Illinois (or wherever his career takes him.) In addition to reporting for UPR, Eric is the copy editor at the Utah Statesman and contributes to Aggie TV News.