Category Archives: Optimize Mobility

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

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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.

 

New Bangerter Bridge to open May 17

For motorists in the southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley, the long-awaited day is here: The Bangerter Bridge over Redwood Road will be opening to east-west traffic this Sunday afternoon, May 17.

Starting on Saturday at 11 p.m., traffic on Bangerter Highway will be reduced to one lane while crews switch the traffic onto the new bridge, so watch for changing traffic patterns that night. Motorists wanting to access Redwood Road from the highway (and vice versa) will continue to use the temporary road at Marketview Drive.

This graphic shows how traffic will be affected by the opening of the Bangerter bridge at Redwood Road.

This graphic shows how traffic will be affected by the opening of the Bangerter bridge at Redwood Road. Click on the image to increase its size.

City officials in the area will be taking a tour to see the new bridge on Friday, May 15th at 10 a.m.

The community surrounding Bangerter and Redwood Road is continuing to grow at an accelerated pace, and we’re excited about the improvements the project has made to the area. The project will accommodate immediate and long-term traffic demands and increase mobility, thanks to a grade separated single point urban interchange. The SPUI will improve safety for motorists and bikers in the area by reducing the amount of conflict points.

While the opening of the bridge, which is similar to the bridge at Bangerter and 7800 South in West Jordan, is a major milestone in the Redwood and Bangerter project, it is not the end.  Work on Redwood Road, and signing and landscaping the project, will push the actual construction end day to July.

Utah ranks in top 5 bicycle-friendly states

The League of American Bicyclists released its 2015 Bicycle Friendly State ranking, and the Beehive State comes in at number five.

Washington was ranked first for the eighth year in a row, followed by Minnesota, Delaware, Massachusetts, Utah, Oregon, Colorado, California, Wisconsin and Maryland in the top 10.

“We are very proud of the high quality of life enjoyed by Utahns,” said Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “We have worked to support and provide world-class bicycling opportunities across our state, both for commuting to work and enjoying the natural beauty around us. As we meet the evolving demands of our state and plan for the future, amenities like this will help Utah continue to be one of the greatest places to live, work and play.”

Bikers ride along a trail in a past Road Respect tour.

Bikers ride along a trail in a past Road Respect tour.

At UDOT, Integrated Transportation is our top emphasis area. In all phases of a project, we consider the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians and other Active Transportation users.

On Utah’s scorecard, the state was given top scores on Policies and Programs, Education and Encouragement, Infrastructure and Funding, and Legislation and Enforcement.  When compared against the rest of the country in the various categories, Utah places near the top in just about every one.

Utah’s Collaborative Active Transportation Policy is a partnership between UDOT, Utah Transit Authority, Wasatch Front Regional Council, Mountainland Association of Governments and Salt Lake County to identify 25 focus areas statewide to connect bicycle networks together to increase non-vehicle mobility.

Some projects we’re particularly proud of include:

St. George’s Bluff Street at Red Hills Parkway interchange:  In an area that is historically significant for cycling events, recreational riding & training, and marathons is an intersection where a state highway through a natural preserve meets a city street. In this high-growth section of Utah’s Dixie, the city and state met together with the Southern Utah Bike Alliance to make center exit interchange. The interchange maintains a steady flow of traffic for motorists, safely connects runners and bikers to the trails in the region, and saved taxpayers $4 million by utilizing the natural topography of the area.

An aerial view of the new Bluff St/Red Hills Parkway Intersection.

An aerial view of the new Bluff St/Red Hills Parkway Intersection.

On SR-12, a Bike Path Extension is in its final phase of construction. The project will provide a safe alternative for bicyclist and pedestrian travel by distancing them from traffic. It will also provide a key link in the connectivity of this path from Red canyon to Bryce Canyon National Park. The project, which is a partnership with Garfield County using Transportation Alternatives Program funding, should be finished near the end of the 2015 construction season.

Salt Lake City’s Green Bike Program: This silver-level bicycle community has a Green Bike sharing program that gives a custom approach and bike lane design to fit existing streets. This includes shared lanes.

Jordan River Parkway is 40 miles of urban park that runs along the Jordan River. It stretches from the south end of Salt Lake Valley and connects north into the Legacy Parkway Trail in Davis County, giving tens of thousands of residents access to non-vehicular transportation and recreation.

The entire I-15 South Davis project improves active transportation in the area, especially at 500 South, 400 North, and Parrish Lane.

In Utah County, the Murdock Canal Trail is a multi-use trail that extends 16 miles through seven cities, from Lehi to Orem. It connects with numerous regional and city trails and will have future connections to seven additional trails. The plan for the area is to build a safer, more connected regional bicycle network. Future plans for this system, in conjunction with the Jordan River Parkway and Legacy Parkway Trails, will allow riders to travel from Ogden to Provo using only paved trails. You can view Region 3’s bike plan here.

Along the Wasatch Front, UDOT is continuing to install radar detection  at intersections that are frequently used by bicyclists and other recreationists.

We’re excited that the League of American Bicyclists has honored Utah with a top-5 bicycle-friendly distinction. While there’s still much work to be done to keep up with the state’s amazing rate of growth, we’re committed to exploring every avenue of possibility for active transportation. The creativity, enthusiasm and desire to collaborate with our partners is what drives innovation on Utah roads, and going forward, we’ll continue to strive to improve the quality of life for all Utahns.

 

 

New data indicates no significant speed increases on urban interstates

SALT LAKE CITY — According to new data from the Utah Department of Transportation, average speeds on urban interstates along the Wasatch Front have stayed consistent, despite moving the speed limit from 65 to 70 in December 2014.

UDOT looked at average speeds for January, February and March and compared them with June 2014, prior to the speed limit increase.

The highest increase in any section appears to be 2 mph. But overall, speeds have either remained the same or even decreased since the change.

A new 70 mph speed limit sign waits to be installed.

A new 70 mph speed limit sign waits to be installed in December 2014

The initial data is in line with our expectations. We didn’t anticipate much of a change in traveling speed, considering the vast majority of the traveling public was already traveling 70 mph or above.

“People drive the speeds at which they are comfortable,” UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason said. “We want to set the appropriate speed limit and have it reflect the speeds at which motorists are actually driving.”

Gleason also added that the intent of the speed limit increase is to create a uniform traffic flow and to minimize some of the speed differentials that can sometimes cause crashes.

While three months is a short window to make any determinations (we typically like to look at trends over several years), this data gives us an initial look at those areas where the speeds were raised.

“UDOT will continue to monitor these sections of urban interstate,” Gleason said.  “And while we don’t anticipate any changes, we want to address any potential issues as they happen.”

You can look at the data yourself on our .pdf

Speed_Study_Difference Map

Silver Barrel Awards: Scott Fugate, Tyler Rasband and Joseph Burns

The following Silver Barrel nomination was written by Corey Coulam, UDOT Traffic Operations Center Control Room Manager.

On the night of March 22 around 8:30, the control room received a message from Salt Lake County dispatch describing a report from a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper of a loud popping noise at 2100 South and 900 West. Operators, Scott Fugate, Tyler Rasband and Joseph Burns, took action to use a traffic camera to try to locate what the trooper had reported. They quickly identified the flames of a fire started by transients that threatened a structure.

Photo of the live camera feed of the fireThe operators provided the live stream video feed to Salt Lake County UHP dispatch and gave them a detailed description of the incident and location. Dispatch then contacted the Fire Department with precise information and visual confirmation readily available. Because of these quick reactions, the Fire Department was able to respond quickly to this incident. The Fire Department is noted in a news article saying that these quick reactions and the availability of a camera feed prevented this from becoming a larger fire with the potential for serious infrastructure damage.

This was reported without exact confirmation and, at the time of the incident, there were no traffic impacts whatsoever however these operators relied on their experience and skills to help emergency responders. Scott Fugate, the shift supervisor and his familiarity (from almost 8 years of working in the control room) with UHP, dispatch, and situational awareness provided him the ability to realize that this had the potential to become a large scale incident. In addition, operator skills with control room software and camera use played a large role in helping them to locate this incident on a surface street location where camera coverage is poor. What makes this more impressive is the fact that the call came at night, when the difficulty of locating incidents by camera is significantly increased.

 

Members of the Traffic Operations Center receive their Silver Barrel award from Executive Director Carlos Braceras

Members of the Traffic Operations Center receive their Silver Barrel award from Executive Director Carlos Braceras

Traveler Information Manager Lisa Miller receives a Silver Barrel award.

Traveler Information Manager Lisa Miller receives a Silver Barrel award.

UDOT’s “Walking School Bus” app recognized for environmental leadership, innovation

 WASHINGTON – Calling transportation “the critical link between home, school, work, community and commerce,” the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) chose Earth Day 2015 to release a new video that uses UDOT’s “Walking School Bus” as an example of how state DOTs are making communities more livable and transportation systems more sustainable.

“States are applying tremendous creativity and ingenuity to ensure that transportation systems enhance the world in which we live,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director.

UDOT’s “Walking School Bus” – an organized effort in which students walk or bike to and from school together under the supervision of at least one adult – is presented as one of the innovative solutions featured in the new video.

“Researchers found that fewer parents were choosing to have their children walk or bike to school because of safety concerns and other factors,” says UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras in explaining the program in the video, adding that “Utah families and the environment are benefiting because children are healthier, there are fewer green-house gas emissions and bus operating costs have been reduced.”

Other programs featured in the video include bicycle and pedestrian facilities, wildlife protection initiatives and recycling projects.

You can watch the video on AASHTO’s Center for Environmental Excellence page, and view an interactive infographic on the UDOT SNAP page.

Major Delays Expected on I-15 this Weekend in Davis, Utah Counties

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises drivers to plan ahead for significant traffic restrictions on I-15 in Davis and Utah counties beginning as early as Saturday night. Crews will be demolishing a bridge at 400 North in Bountiful, and completing concrete pavement maintenance in Springville. Additional restrictions are also scheduled to begin on I-80 in Summit County as early as Saturday morning.

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 is scheduled to close in both directions on Saturday, April 18, as early as 11 p.m. while crews demolish a bridge at 400 North in Bountiful. The freeway will be closed at the following locations:

  • Southbound I-15 will be closed between the Legacy Parkway/Park Lane interchange in Farmington and 400 North in Bountiful, and all southbound traffic will be diverted to Legacy Parkway. The southbound I-15 on-ramps at all interchanges in this area will also be closed.
  • Northbound I-15 will be closed at 400 North (Exit 317) in Bountiful. Northbound traffic will be diverted onto 400 North, then back onto the freeway via 500 West.

The freeway is scheduled to reopen by Sunday, April 19, at 11 a.m. Drivers in both directions are advised to use Legacy Parkway as an alternate route.

View Alternate routes for this weekend, as Interstate 15 will be closed from Farmington to Bountiful.

View Alternate routes for this weekend, as Interstate 15 will be closed from Farmington to Bountiful.

I-15 in Utah County

Southbound I-15 is scheduled to be reduced to one lane between 1400 North (Exit 261) and 400 South (Exit 260) in Springville on Saturday, April 18, as early as 9 p.m. for concrete pavement maintenance. These restrictions are scheduled to remain in place through Monday, April 20, at 7 a.m., when an additional lane will reopen.

During this time, drivers should plan ahead for severe traffic delays of more than an hour on Sunday, April 19, between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. US-89 through Provo and Springville should be considered as an alternate route. In addition, UDOT recommends that drivers adjust their schedules to avoid travel on southbound I-15 during this time if possible.

Following these lane restrictions, the southbound lanes on I-15 in this area are scheduled to be split into two sections on Monday, April 20, as early as 12 p.m. This lane split is expected to remain in place through Thursday, April 23, at 5 a.m. to allow concrete pavement to cure. Drivers wanting to use exits 261 (1400 North) or 260 (400 South) in Springville will need to stay in the right lanes.

This work is being completed under warranty as part of the I-15 CORE project at no additional cost to taxpayers.

View alternate routes from Provo to Springville, as Interstate 15 will be closed for much of the weekend.

View alternate routes from Provo to Springville, as Interstate 15 will be closed for much of the weekend.

I-15 in Salt Lake County

Southbound I-15 is scheduled to be reduced to four lanes north of the 10600 South interchange beginning as early as Saturday, April 18, at 10 p.m. These restrictions are scheduled to remain in place through Sunday, April 19, at noon while crews complete concrete maintenance. This work is being completed at night to minimize traffic delays.

I-80 in Summit County

I-80 is scheduled to be reduced to one lane in each direction from the U.S. 40 interchange to Wanship as early as Saturday morning, April 18. All traffic will be shifted to the eastbound lanes, and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 miles per hour. In addition, the westbound on- and off-ramps at Exit 150 (Tollgate/Promontory) will both be closed. These restrictions are scheduled to remain in place through fall 2015.

Crews are completing the second phase of a project to reconstruct I-80 in this area with new concrete pavement. Last year, work was completed in the eastbound lanes, and this season crews are reconstructing the westbound lanes.

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.

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