Monthly Archives: June 2016

I-215, I-15 Freeway Closures Scheduled Sunday and Monday

Drivers on I-215 and i-15 through Salt Lake City be warned, several closures over the weekend may impact travel. The closures will primarily be at night, but drivers should still be aware and plan for alternate routes if they’ll be going through those areas.

I-215 is scheduled to be closed in both directions near 600 South on Sunday, June 26, at 7 a.m.

The freeway will be closed for approximately 20 minutes while Rocky Mountain Power crews hang new power lines across the road. Drivers heading to the Salt Lake City International Airport should allow extra time or consider using I-15 to I-80 as an alternate route.

I-15 in Springville will be closed on Monday night, June 27. Crews are scheduled to close all northbound lanes on I-15 at the 1400 North interchange (Exit 261) around midnight to install the crossbar for a new overhead message sign. All northbound lanes are expected to reopen by Tuesday, June 28, at 2 a.m. During this closure, all traffic will be detoured onto S.R. 75. Detour signs will direct drivers back to northbound I-15 via U.S. 89 and 1860 South in Provo.

In addition, UDOT advises drivers to plan ahead for the following projects:

I-80, Salt Lake City: Eastbound I-80 will be reduced to one lane, and westbound I-80 will be reduced to three lanes, between 1300 East and State Street for pavement repairs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights during the following times:

Friday, June 24, at 8 p.m. to Saturday, June 25, at 9 a.m.
Saturday, June 25, at 8 p.m. to Sunday, June 26, at 10 a.m.
Sunday, June 26, at 7 p.m. to Monday, June 27, at 5 a.m.

I-215 West Belt, Salt Lake City: The ramp from southbound I-215 to eastbound S.R. 201 is scheduled to close for up to 30 days beginning on Monday, June 27, as early as 1 a.m. Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead and use alternate routes, such as I-80.

During the closure, crews will reconstruct the ramp, completely removing the existing pavement and replacing it with new concrete. This work is being completed as part of the I-215 reconstruction project, which will repave the freeway between S.R. 201 and 4700 South with new concrete and add new exit-only lanes in both directions.

Construction schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. For additional information on traffic restrictions during construction, visit the UDOT Traffic website (udottraffic.utah.gov) or download the UDOT Traffic app for iPhone or Android. Drivers can also follow UDOT on social media including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

How GIS Improves Data Quality

Quality Data

Screenshot of UPlan

Screenshot of UPlan Map Center

State routes and associated features, like mile markers, structures, and even fiber optic cable, can be represented by geo-located points or lines. The UPlan Map Center  provides a way to put data sets on a map, which makes the location of projects and features easy to find. A map can highlight errors and aid quality control. GIS also helps facilitate feedback from decision makers and the public by connecting data owners with data users to.

While putting data on a map sounds simple, “going from a non-visual data environment to a visual one is a complete transformative game-changer,” explains Rod McDaniels, Outdoor Inventory Control (OAC) Manager. For decades, the Department’s Outdoor Advertising Control Program struggled to consistently and quickly identify which routes in the state required billboard control and to pinpoint the exact location of permitted billboards on those routes. Records for the program were kept in individual online or hard copy files which had written descriptions of billboard locations.

UDOT recently combined all route and billboard data into the Outdoor Advertising Control Map. GIS has vastly improved the OAC program’s data quality. “GIS allows users to gain a visual understanding the geographic distribution of permitted billboards in the state. It quickly tells a story that cannot be told through endless spreadsheet rows.  It has exponentially improved QC/QA activities, and it has revolutionized service delivery to a broad spectrum of stakeholders.”

A bridge too far

Putting GIS data on a map also highlights location errors. “It’s like shining a light on something that can otherwise get buried,” says Sarah Rigard, UDOT GIS Program Manager. When the UDOT Structures Division data was put on a map, some of the bridges showed up in the wrong location – one was in Nevada. “A slight typo in a lat-long coordinate will cause the point to be in the wrong location.” Checking for errors on a map can be easier and more effective than checking a spread sheet line by line.

Making decisions

The purpose of the annual Utah Transportation Commission Workshop is to develop funding strategies and identify upcoming projects for the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). UDOT’s GIS team supports the workshop by developing presentation materials such as PDF maps, tables, and storymaps on UPlan. Developing presentations has spurred discussion of what information from the Electronic Program Management (ePM) database is the most useful and helpful to convey, and how that information should be presented to provide a thorough representation of transportation needs.

GIS tools provide another way review data, which improves the quality. As a result, UDOT has better information for making decisions and better tools for presenting information to stakeholders.