Category Archives: Optimize Mobility

Mountain View Corridor celebrates partnership with Rocky Mountain Power and Kern River Gas

The Utah Department of Transportation’s Mountain View Corridor (MVC) project celebrated an innovative partnership with Rocky Mountain Power and Kern River Gas on Tuesday, June 16. Representatives from the utility companies, team members from MVC and UDOT management were in attendance. Remarks were given by Joe Kammerer, MVC Project Director; Sharon Seppi; Rocky Mountain Power; Bob Checketts, Kern River Gas; and Shane Marshall, UDOT Deputy Director.

MVC Partnership Meeting 16 June 2015 (5)

UDOT, Kern River and Rocky Mountain Power have been on working on relocating utility lines in preparation for construction to begin on the new roadway from 5400 South to 4100 South in West Valley City, in the Spring of 2016. This included installing 5 miles of 36” diameter natural gas pipelines, 52 transmission line poles (345kv and 138kv).

Since the project began, there were few that imagined such extensive utility work could be completed and coordinated so seamlessly. However, this partnering celebration took place because of the excellent cooperation of all parties involved.

“This is a model for how transportation agencies like UDOT and utility companies can work together,” said Checketts, Vice President of Operations at Kern River Gas. He further explained that this partnership has now set the precedent for how Kern River is working with the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) on another project.

A pin was created in commemoration and was given to all participants symbolizing the partnership between Rocky Mountain Power and Kern River Gas with UDOT.

061615 MVC pin

Mountain View Corridor currently has two lanes open in each direction from 16000 South to 5400 South and will eventually extend to S.R. 201 in Salt Lake County.

To learn more about the Mountain View Corridor project, visit udot.utah.gov/mountainview.

This guest post was written by the Mountain View Corridor Public Involvement team. 

UDOT projects honored at WASHTO meeting

State projects win in “Quality of Life”, “Under Budget” categories

BOISE, Idaho — Dedication and understanding of the impact state-controlled roads have on motorists in Utah was recognized today, as UDOT projects in Southern Utah and Northern Utah garnered two regional awards in the 2015 America’s Transportation Awards competition.

The announcement today was made at the 2015 Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (WASHTO) annual meeting. UDOT projects were among eight that won in each of the competition’s three categories: Best Use of Innovation, Under Budget, and Quality of Life/Community Development.

UDOT’s Bluff Street at Southern Hills Parkway Interchange was recognized in the Quality of Life/Community Development category, which recognizes “a transportation project that has contributed to the general quality of life and economic development of local communities. These innovative projects better connect people to businesses, jobs, health care facilities, and recreational activities while encouraging a mix of transportation modes. ” With comfortable weather and access to many outdoor activities and destinations, the largest city in Region Four provides so much of what St. George and Washington County residents who value quality of life are looking for.

So many new residents have come to the area seeking this quality of life that existing transportation infrastructure has been over-taxed. Nearly 43,000 cars travel along Bluff Street (SR-18) each day, and another 13,700 go through Red Hills Parkway. The clash of rural vs. urban can best be seen here, where a state highway suddenly becomes a city road where many cyclists and runners converge to get to and around the natural preserve. It’s the meeting point four multi-use trail systems, and is included in the course of many major sporting events in the area. All of this activity in a traditionally constructed intersection places residents and visitors at risk.

This was how the intersection looked before the project

This was how the intersection looked before the project

In order to accommodate the current population as well as the expected growth through 2030, UDOT, the City of St. George and the Southern Utah Bike Alliance (SUBA) collaborated to reconfigure the intersection by creating a center exit interchange.

The center exit interchange creates a safer section of road, while also maintaining a steady flow of traffic. Highway travelers can continue on their way on the outside lanes, while those needing local access take the inside lanes to an intersection that allows east-west travel.

The construction team saved $4 million in construction costs by utilizing the natural topography of the area and building the project within natural grades.

The project after it was finished. Note the center offramp and bike trails

The project after it was finished. Note the center offramp and bike trails

The project also integrated bike/pedestrian paths into the design, with box culverts under SR-18 allowing for safer multimodal transportation under busy roadways, thus connecting the community in a safe, efficient and positive way.

“UDOT should be commended for their positive design process that encourages outside voices and ideas,” said Craig Shanklin, SUBA President. “This was a great example of how the community can be involved in the design process and lead to a better outcome for all users.”

The Diverging Diamond Interchange at Brigham City’s US-91/1100 South location was honored in the “Under Budget” category. That category honors “a project demonstrating transportation efficiency while promoting economic and fiscal responsibility. The award recognizes a successful project brought in under budget that provided the greatest cost savings to the state(s) while offering maximum performance.”

How do you move a steadily increasing traffic flow through an aging, small interchange at the connection of US-91 and Interstate 15, near the northern Utah city of Brigham City?  With more than 20,000 vehicles a day — many of them trucks — originating throughout the region, this old, inefficient interchange was reducing the economic lifeblood of local communities to a trickle.

The new DDI at Brigham City on the day it opened.

The new DDI at Brigham City on the day it opened.

The 40-year-old interchange would frequently clog when vehicles at its ramps tried to enter the traffic flow.  The predominant west to south-bound traffic on US-91 was so steady during the day that it was nearly hopeless for other movements to occur.  This prompted risk-taking by trapped motorists at the ramps – and frequent crashes when they did.  Regional special events, like local university football games, would bring traffic to a complete halt.

UDOT traffic planners needed a solution, but the answer was elusive.  Soils adjacent to the Great Salt Lake were saturated by surface groundwater, making the interchange increasingly unstable.  Engineers wondered how to upgrade it without a massive redesign to accommodate the increasing pounding from trucks.  Similar rebuilds had cost upwards of $100 million – prohibitive under state budgets at the time.

The answer: innovate.  Engineers used an innovation to solve the water issue — geofoam — which allowed the new interchange to “float” on soggy soils.  Another innovation — advanced bridge construction — replaced the interchange’s old bridge over I-15 while adding a completely new span in a little more than 10 months.  Finally, the innovative diverging diamond traffic pattern was added to the design to solve the problem of congestion and safety.

The white blocks are geofoam, which was used to construct the DDI in a environmentally- and structurally- sound way

The white blocks are geofoam, which was used to construct the DDI in a environmentally- and structurally- sound way

The result? An efficient interchange that allows all traffic movements to occur safely and congestion-free, and all for less than $14 million.

“What UDOT and the project team eventually chose to do was not only innovative, but a brilliant solution to an extremely difficult situation with many built-in constrictions,” said Bradley Humpherys, a Senior Transportation Project Manager for Stanley Consultants.

Utah’s two projects — along with projects in California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Texas — will compete against projects from other regions in the U.S. for a National Grand Prize, the People’s Choice Award and $10,000 prizes to be given by the winners to a transportation-related charity or scholarship program.

The top two national winners will be announced in September at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

“These projects are a small sampling of the many ways in which state DOTs are improving peoples’ quality of life and providing for a vibrant economy,” said John Cox, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials President and Director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

The America’s Transportation Awards – co-sponsored by AASHTO, AAA and the US Chamber of Commerce – annually recognizes the best of America’s transportation projects in four regional competitions.  Learn more about the projects and the competition at: AmericasTransportationAwards.org

State Transportation Commission tours UDOT projects in Summit County

PARK CITY — On Thursday, June 25,  the State Transportation Commission toured several areas in Summit County to see current and recent roadway improvement projects in the county.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has been working with Summit County, Park City, and Snyderville Basin Parks, Trails and Recreation on improving transportation routes in the area.

“Summit County is a popular destination for recreation enthusiasts year-round,”  says UDOT Region Two Director Nathan Lee.  “Keeping the flow of motorists, cyclists, and wildlife moving through the county efficiently and safely is a top priority for us.”

The commission takes a tour of the recreation/wildlife underpass at US-40 in the Snyderville Basin.

The commission takes a tour of the recreation/wildlife underpass at US-40 in the Snyderville Basin.

In the past five years, UDOT has invested $102 million in roadway improvements in Summit County.  Some of those projects include:

-I-80 from Kimball Junction to SR 224 Study

This study looked at different scenarios to expand the capacity of SR 224 near Kimball Junction to accommodate future traffic and improve mobility.  Three recommendations were made, including a 7-lane section on SR 224, a continuous flow intersection at Olympic Parkway/Newpark Blvd., and a third left turn lane from northbound SR 224 to westbound I-80.  A final recommendation has not been chosen and funding for construction has not been secured.

-Wildlife Underpass Crossing at US 40

Completed in November 2014, this new underpass crossing provides recreational access and connectivity west of US 40 with the Frontage Road east of US 40.  The underpass also enhances safety for drivers and trail users, while at the same time reducing auto-wildlife crashes.

-SR 224 between Richardson Flat and Round Valley Drive

UDOT repaved and widened S.R. 248 to five lanes (two general purpose lanes in each direction with a two-way left turn lane) from Richardson Flat Road to Round Valley Drive. The project also included the installation of bike lanes from Wyatt Earp Way to Richardson Flat Road and intersection improvements at Richardson Flat Road and S.R. 248.  This project was completed in 2013.

The Commission stopped at S.R. 248, east of Comstock Drive to view a pedestrian tunnel near Treasure Mountain Middle School in Park City.

The Commission stopped at S.R. 248, east of Comstock Drive, to view a pedestrian tunnel near Treasure Mountain Middle School in Park City.

-SR 224 between Bear Hollow and I-80

UDOT completed a three-inch repaving on S.R. 224 from Bear Hollow to the I-80 interchange in July 2014.  The project also included new radar signal detection, pedestrian ramp upgrades and a shared shoulder for Park City Transit buses/ bikes on the east side.

Current projects under construction include the following:

-I-80 between Silver Creek and Wanship

This $43 million project replaces asphalt, upgrades drainage systems, and installs overhead variable message signs (VMS) to better communicate road conditions on Interstate 80 between Silver Creek and Wanship.  Construction began in December 2014 and is scheduled for completion in late 2015.

i-80 Bridge Demolition near Wanship We shared with you earlier about the construction going on near Wanship on I-80. Now, we’ve got a video to show how we teamed with Geneva Rock Products to take down the bridge.

Posted by Utah DOT on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

 

-Judd & Hobson Lane Bridges at I-80

This $2.7 million renovation project prolongs the life of the both the Judd and Hobson Lane bridges along Interstate 80 between Coalville and Hoytsville.  Originally built in 1967, the bridges provide connectivity and enhance safety for drivers.  Renovations began in June 2015 and are scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015.

Upcoming projects in Summit County include the following:

-New westbound truck lane on Interstate 80 between Parley’s Summit and Jeremy Ranch

To improve mobility and enhance safety on Interstate 80, UDOT is designing a passing truck lane between Parley’s Summit and Jeremy Ranch.  The $17 million design project will begin in 2017.

-US 40 bridges near Jordanelle Reservoir

This $4.2 million project will preserve seven bridges near the Jordanelle Reservoir, which are frequently used by motorists visiting the area for recreation.  The bridges were originally built over 20 years ago. Bridge preservation work begins in 2016.

For a complete list of current and future projects in Summit County, visit the UDOT Projects page.

This guest post was written by Region Two Communications Manager Agustin Avalos. 

Plan ahead for delays on the July 4 weekend

UDOT engineers advise avoiding travel during heavy traffic times; construction to be suspended on most highway projects

 SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises drivers to plan ahead for travel delays this July 4 weekend by avoiding heavy traffic times if possible. Although work will be suspended and lanes will be open on most Utah highways, existing restrictions will remain in place to protect the work zone and ensure safety on several major projects in Salt Lake, Davis, Utah, and Summit counties.

UDOT traffic engineers anticipate heaviest traffic this weekend on Thursday, July 2, between noon and 7 p.m., with highest overall traffic volumes expected around 3 p.m. A second period of high traffic is also expected from Saturday, July 4, at 10:30 p.m. to Sunday, July 5, at 12:30 a.m.

To help accommodate high traffic levels, UDOT will be adjusting the timing of traffic signals and ramp meters. UDOT is also partnering with Orem and Provo, as well as Brigham Young University, to help manage traffic to and from the Stadium of Fire event. Motorists attending the Stadium of Fire are encouraged to avoid construction on Orem Center Street, and use 800 North or University Parkway as an alternate.

Road construction projects that drivers should be aware of when planning their trips this weekend include:

I-15 at the Point of the Mountain
All four lanes are open in both directions on I-15. However, the northbound lanes have been split into two sections between S.R. 92 and 14600 South. Drivers wanting to exit at 14600 South need to stay to the right through the lane split. Due to narrowed and shifting lanes throughout the construction zone, the speed limit has been reduced to 55 miles per hour.

I-80 in Summit County
I-80 is reduced to one lane in each direction from the U.S. 40 interchange to Wanship in Summit County. All traffic has been shifted to the eastbound lanes, and the speed limit is reduced to 45 miles per hour. In addition, the westbound on- and off-ramps at Exit 150 (Tollgate/Promontory) are closed. To reduce delays, drivers should consider using I-84 through Ogden as an alternate route. These restrictions are scheduled to remain in place through fall 2015 while crews reconstruct the freeway with concrete pavement.

Drivers should remember to stay alert, use caution, and obey posted speed limits when traveling through construction zones in order to ensure safety.

Construction schedules are weather dependent and subject to change. For more information about these and other UDOT projects, visit udottraffic.utah.gov or download the UDOT Traffic app, available for iOS or Android devices.

With lane splits, closures, Utah drivers need to plan ahead

Lane splits at the Point of the Mountain, lane closures in Davis County may delay drivers  

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises drivers to plan ahead for travel delays on I-15 in Davis and Utah counties beginning as early as Saturday night. Crews will install a new lane split at the Point of the Mountain, and close lanes on I-15 in Davis County to allow concrete to cure.

The following is a brief description of road construction projects that drivers should be aware of this weekend (all schedules subject to change due to weather or equipment issues):

I-15 at the Point of the Mountain

A new lane split is scheduled to be in place on northbound I-15 at the Point of the Mountain starting as early as Sunday morning. The split will divide the northbound lanes into two sections while crews reconstruct the center lanes of the freeway. As part of this split, the two outside lanes will be shifted onto the new permanent pavement for the first time.

All four lanes will continue north on I-15 – however, drivers planning to exit at 14600 South will need to stay right. The lane split will allow UDOT to keep all four lanes open through construction along this busy section of I-15.

Once this split is in place, all four lanes will be reopened at S.R. 92 (currently, one northbound lane is closed at the interchange). To better control traffic merging onto I-15, the ramp meter for the northbound S.R. 92 on-ramp to I-15 will be turned on.

The lane split will work much like it does in Davis County, as shown in the video below.

 

I-15 in Davis County

Southbound I-15 is scheduled to be restricted to three lanes near 400 North in Bountiful for barrier work. Beginning as early as Friday, June 26, at 4 p.m., crews will close the right lane of southbound I-15. This restriction is scheduled to remain in place through Saturday, June 27, at 4 p.m. to allow the concrete to cure.

Northbound I-15 is scheduled to be restricted to three lanes near 2600 South in Bountiful this weekend. Beginning as early as Saturday, June 27, at 6 p.m., crews will close one northbound lane for bridge work. This restriction is scheduled to remain in place through Monday, June 29, at 6 a.m. Drivers should plan ahead for minor delays during this time, and consider using alternate routes such as Legacy Parkway.

Construction schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. For more information about these and other UDOT projects, visit udottraffic.utah.gov or download the UDOT Traffic app, available for iOS or Android devices.

Delay data to help drivers “Rethink Your Commute”

DRAPER — As part of UDOT’s ongoing efforts to minimize the inconvenience of construction, the Traffic Operations Center (TOC) is posting a new set of travel data on the overhead variable message signs (VMS).

Starting today, commuters traveling on I-15 through The Point project at the Point of the Mountain will be able to see the difference in delay for the time of day that they are on the road, compared to earlier or later.

The Variable Message Sign on SB I-15 near 8200 South educates motorists on the best times to commute around The Point.

The Variable Message Sign on SB I-15 near 8200 South educates motorists on the best times to commute around The Point.

For example, a driver traveling from I-215 to Lehi Main Street at 5:15 p.m. would have to deal with average delays of nearly 25 minutes. But if that same driver traveled an hour earlier, she would only be delayed about 13 minutes.

A person could also reduce delays by driving later. Taking the same route, a driver could save ten minutes by traveling at 6:30 p.m. instead of 5:30.

Those ten minutes could be spent wrapping up a project at work, or watching the first inning of your kid’s baseball game – rather than stuck in traffic.

In addition to shifting your travel times, there are several other ways you can rethink your commute to avoid getting stuck in construction traffic. Consider TravelWise strategies like taking public transit, telecommuting or carpooling. Learn more at udot.utah.gov/rethink.

Data shows delay times can be decreased significantly by rethinking when you're on the road.

Data shows delay times can be decreased significantly by rethinking when you’re on the road.

This post was written by Christina Davis, Communications Manager on The Point project. 

Layton ThrU Turn, SPUI, set to relieve congestion

LAYTON — The Utah Department of Transportation and Layton City are working together to tailor solutions to meet the city’s unique traffic challenges.

One of the main challenges is near Hill Field Road and the interchange with Interstate 15. Typically, it takes motorists about 10 minutes to go a half-mile from Main Street to the Layton Hills Mall, with cars frequently backing up all the way to the freeway. UDOT and the city are ready to construct solutions in this area in two phases, aimed at improving traffic flow, driver safety, and access to local businesses.

Phase One will have new ThrU Turn intersections built on Hill Field Road at Main Street and at Gordon Avenue (near the Layton Hills Mall). A ThrU Turn intersection improves traffic flow by eliminating left turns at the main intersection. Drivers wishing to turn left continue straight to the intersection, then make a U-turn at a specially designed turnaround. Construction will start on Sunday, June 14, and is schedules for completion in 90 days — in time for Black Friday and other holiday shopping.

Phase Two will construct a Single Point Urban Interchange at the Hill Field Road interchange on I-15. On these interchanges, all traffic from the off- and on-ramps (as well as Hill Field Road) is controlled by a single traffic signal. This design imporves the flow of traffic and enhances safety for drivers. The interchange will be completed during the 2016 construction season.

According to computer data, driving along Hill Field Road will take half as long when construction is complete. In 25 years, that drive time will be 1/4 as long as if the intersection stayed as-is.

The majority of lane closures are scheduled at night, as part of UDOT’s efforts to work as effectively as possible to minimize delays during construction. When complete, drivers will save an average of 5 minutes off their commute.

Residents with questions can meet the contractor on Tuesday, June 16 from 5-7 p.m. at the Layton Hills Mall. Current information will also be posted at the Layton Improved website, and you can call the project hotline at 801.904.9064.

Plan ahead for delays in Davis County

Lane restrictions, freeway closure scheduled for new bridge construction and concrete maintenance

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises drivers to plan ahead for delays on I-15 in Davis County this weekend. Crews are scheduled to set beams on the new 400 North bridge in Bountiful and complete concrete maintenance on the bridge over the railroad tracks on I-215 in North Salt Lake. Both projects will require significant lane restrictions.

The following is a brief description of road construction projects that drivers should be aware of this weekend (all schedules subject to change due to weather or equipment issues):

I-15 in Davis County

I-15 will be closed in both directions overnight Saturday, June 6, while crews build a new bridge at 400 North in Bountiful.

Southbound I-15 is scheduled to close at 500 West as early as 11 p.m. During this time northbound I-15 will remain open, but will be reduced to one lane. Once the new beams are set over the southbound lanes, crews will reopen one southbound lane and I-15 will be closed at 400 North. All lanes are schedule to reopen by 11 a.m. Sunday.

UDOT recommends Legacy Parkway as an alternate route. 400 North will remain closed at I-15 until project completion later this summer. The new bridge will feature improved sidewalks, wider shoulders and a higher barrier between traffic and pedestrians.

I-215 in North Salt Lake

Drivers should plan ahead for heavy delays near the I-215 ramps on I-15 in North Salt Lake. I-215 has been reduced to one lane in each direction while crews complete concrete maintenance on the bridge over the railroad tracks. This restriction will remain in place 24 hours per day for up to two months. UDOT recommends drivers use Legacy Parkway as an alternate.

Construction schedules are weather dependent and subject to change. For more information about these and other UDOT projects, visit udottraffic.utah.gov or download the UDOT Traffic app, available for iOS or Android devices.

 

UDOT seeks public comment for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goal

UDOT is currently developing the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal for the next three Federal fiscal years.  The draft DBE Goal and Methodology Report can be found on the UDOT website at https://www.udot.utah.gov/go/dbegoal.

Comments may be provided to UDOT by following the directions on the website.  The document will be available for review and comment from May 11 to June 10, 2015.  Only comments related specifically to the DBE goal and the development of the goal will be accepted.  All other UDOT or DBE-program related comments should be directed to the appropriate contact provided on the main UDOT website.

A public meeting / webinar will be held on June 1, 2015 at 12:00 PM at UDOT’s central headquarters, 4501 S 2700 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84114.  At this meeting the DBE Goal and Methodology will be reviewed and staff will be available for questions/discussion on this and other DBE topics including:

  • DBE certification / application
  • Project explorer / project advertising
  • Project bidding
  • Subcontracting
  • Certified Payroll

The following is a timeline for the public meeting:
12:00  Meet and greet
12:10  Overview of DBE Program
12:30  Presentation of Goal Methodology
12:45  Q&A Open House

The webinar part of this meeting can be accessed at the following link:

http://connect.udot.utah.gov/dbe/

Conference Call # – 1-877-820-7831

Participant:  237093

—-

UDOT Central Civil Rights Office staff:

Stacy Frandsen:  DBE Goal and Methodology, project explorer, advertising and bidding

Tori Berry:  DBE Goal and Methodology, DBE certification / application, subcontracting, certified payroll

Judy Romrell:  DBE certification / application

Sheri Uffens:  Certified payroll

Aaron Watson:  DBE Goal and Methodology, project explorer, advertising, subcontracting

Michael Butler:  DBE Goal and Methodology

UDOT informs Utah Transportation Commission of intent to raise speed limits in certain areas of I-80, I-70 and I-84

BRIGHAM CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) informed the Utah Transportation Commission of its decision to raise the speed limits on certain areas of rural Utah interstates today during the monthly Utah Transportation Commission Meeting, held in Brigham City Council chambers.

Traffic and Safety Director Robert Miles told the commission that the division has completed an analysis on speed, crash and fatal crash data.  The studies were conducted this spring, and determined that raising the speed limits in these areas would be safe and appropriate.

UDOT will increase the speed limit on stretches of Interstate 80 from 75 miles per hour to 80 mph from the I-84 Junction to the Wyoming border (MP 167.45 to 196.68).

A map of proposed changes for Interstate 80 speed limits

A map of proposed changes for Interstate 80 speed limits

Interstate 70 also has four sections of highway that will increase from 75 mph to 80 mph:

  • The I-15/I-70 Junction to just past Cove Fort (MP 5),
  • Just west of the US-89 Junction to Exit 63- Gooseberry Rd. (MP 21-63)
  • Exit 73 – Ranch Exit to Exit 138 – Brake Test Area (MP 73.9-138.7)
  • Exit 146 – Reef View Area to the Colorado border (MP 146-231).

 

A map of proposed speed limit changes for Interstate 70.

A map of proposed speed limit changes for Interstate 70.

 

On Interstate 84, three stretches of road will increase from 65-70 mph to 70 or 75 MPH:

  • I-15 to the mouth of the Canyon (MP 81-88) 70 mph
  • Between Ogden and Morgan (MP 92-106) 75 mph
  • Near Henifer to the I-80/84 Junction 75 mph
A map of proposed speed limit changes on Interstate 84.

A map of proposed speed limit changes on Interstate 84.