Category Archives: Preserve Infrastructure

UDOT releases 2015 top 15 construction projects list

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) announced today its top 15 road construction projects for 2015.

More than 180 construction projects are scheduled statewide this year, and motorists will need to plan accordingly. This season, UDOT is adding new lanes to freeways and highways, and building new roads to keep Utah moving. Crews will continue to perform maintenance on the state’s roads and bridges to ensure they remain in good condition and last as long as possible.

With two of the top projects located on Interstate 15, UDOT recommends motorists along the Wasatch Front rethink how they commute to reduce delays by carpooling, using transit, adjusting work schedules to leave earlier or stay later, or telecommuting.

The following is a list of the top 15 projects statewide in 2015:

1. I-15 The Point (Project Value $252 million)
Construction starts March 2015; scheduled completion fall 2016

UDOT’s largest project will widen I-15 to six lanes in each direction between 12300 South in Draper and state Route 92 in Lehi. The project will also reconstruct the interchange at 14600 South. Four lanes in each direction will remain open during daytime hours, but motorists should plan for delays due to lane shifts and other activities.

2. I-15 South Davis (Project Value $126.9 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion fall 2015

Last year’s largest construction project is scheduled for completion this year. Crews continue work to add Express Lanes on I-15 from North Salt Lake to Farmington. Work is also underway to reconstruct interchanges at 2600 South and 500 South in Bountiful as well as bridges at 1500 South and 400 North. Drivers can expect lane shifts as well as nighttime lane restrictions and surface street closures during construction.


3. I-80, Silver Creek to Wanship (Project Value $43 million)
Construction resumes in April; scheduled completion fall 2015

Work will resume this spring to complete the reconstruction of eight miles of I-80 with new concrete pavement between US-40 and Wanship. In addition, two bridges over I-80 are scheduled to be reconstructed this summer. Long-term lane restrictions will last from April through the fall with a small number of overnight freeway closures to accommodate bridge work.

i-80 Silver Creek to Wanship

4. I-15 Beaver Climbing Lanes (Project Value $44 million)
Construction starts March 2015; scheduled completion November 2015

I-15 is being widened in two locations in central and southern Utah to add climbing lanes to enhance safety. Lane restrictions will be in place through much of the summer to allow crews to construct these new lanes. Motorists should plan ahead and allow extra travel time when traveling to and from St. George or Las Vegas.

Beaver Climbing lanes

5. SR-36 Reconstruction (Project Value $25.6 million)
Construction starts spring 2015; scheduled completion fall 2015

A 10-mile stretch of state Route 36 in Tooele County is being reconstructed with new pavement, curb/gutter/sidewalk, and drainage improvements. Construction is scheduled to begin as early as April, and will continue for several months. Drivers will need to watch for traffic shifts and various restrictions to accommodate the work.

SR 36 Tooele

6. I-15 Hill Field Road interchange and Thru-Turn Intersections (Project Value $28 million)
Construction starts spring 2015; scheduled completion fall 2016

The interchange at I-15 and Hill Field Road is being converted to a single-point urban interchange to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in the area. This project will also construct new Thru-Turn Intersections on Hill Field Road on each side of I-15. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring and continue through 2016. Drivers should plan ahead for lane restrictions and traffic delays throughout construction.

7. Bangerter/Redwood Interchange (Project Value $42 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion July 2015

Crews are completing the new interchange at Bangerter Highway and Redwood Road. Temporary traffic patterns in the area will continue through the summer. When complete, the new freeway-style interchange will be similar to the one constructed at Bangerter Highway and 7800 South.


8. I-215, 300 East to Redwood Road (Project Value $14 million)
Construction starts July 2015; scheduled completion October 2015

This heavily-traveled section of I-215 is being reconstructed this year. Crews will be removing the top layer of asphalt and replacing it with new pavement, as well as installing drainage improvements. Motorists should plan for lane restrictions and moderate traffic delays.

9. US-40, SR-208 to Duchesne (Project Value $14.6 million)
Construction starts spring 2015; scheduled completion August 2015

UDOT will be removing the top layer of asphalt and repaving 18 miles of US-40 in Duchesne County. This project will prolong the life of the road and provide a smoother ride for drivers. Lane restrictions and minor traffic delays are possible through the summer.

US 40 Duchesne

10. SR-108, 2000 West in Roy/Ogden (Project Value $16.9 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion summer 2015 

A 4.5-mile section of state Route 108 in Davis and Weber counties is being widened and reconstructed. One lane in each direction will be added, as well as curb, gutter and sidewalk. Motorists should plan ahead for lane restrictions and temporary access restrictions at intersections.

SR 108 Weber County

11. Provo Westside Connector/Vineyard Connector (Project Value $21.1/$13.7 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion spring 2016

Two new arterial roads are being constructed to serve the fast-growing areas of Provo and Vineyard in Utah County. Construction has already begun on these roads, and motorists using nearby or connecting streets should watch for trucks and other equipment.



For more information on the Vineyard connector, please e-mail or call our region hotline 801-830-9304.

12. U.S. 89/State Street, Sandy and Draper (Project Value $2.7 million)
Construction starts summer 2015; scheduled completion fall 2015

Two sections of State Street – from 8000 South to 9000 South, and from 11400 South to 11800 South – will be repaved this summer. Work will primarily take place during nighttime hours, and motorists should expect lane restrictions and business access restrictions during this time.

US 89 Sandy:Draper State Street

13. U.S. 89/Harrison Boulevard intersection (Project Value $6.3 million)
Construction starts May 2015; scheduled completion September 2015

UDOT will realign the intersection of US-89 with Harrison Boulevard to improve traffic flow and will install additional safety improvements in the area. U.S. -89 will also be widened near the intersection. Occasional lane closures will be necessary to complete the work, and motorists should expect additional congestion due to construction.

14. SR-7, Warner Valley to Washington Dam Road (Project Value $21 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion December 2015

Construction continues to extend state Route 7 (Southern Parkway) near the St. George Airport. This extension of the new highway will help improve travel between the new airport and area recreation sites including Zion National Park and Sand Hollow Reservoir.

Southern Parkway

15. Antelope Drive, 2200 West to University Park Boulevard (Project Value $8 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion May 2015

Antelope Drive is being widened near the I-15 interchange to improve traffic flow and enhance safety in the area. Additional turn lanes are being constructed near the entrance to Davis Hospital and Medical Center. Lane restrictions and occasional delays are expected, but two lanes in each direction will remain open on Antelope Drive at all times.


UDOT wants motorists to be in the know regarding construction projects and traffic delays. The following tools are available to provide information about projects and traffic conditions statewide:

UDOT Traffic App — The UDOT Traffic app delivers traffic info directly to motorists by incorporating the best and most up-to-date information from the UDOT Traffic Operations Center, including real-time traffic conditions, construction alerts, crash information and road weather conditions. The UDOT Traffic app is free and available for download in the Apple App Store and Android Market for tablets and smart phones.

Interactive UDOT Traffic Website — The website,, features an interactive map identifying the locations of UDOT projects statewide. Additional information is provided for each project, including the construction schedule, expected travel delays and the project benefits. The public can also subscribe to an RSS feed on the site to receive real-time updates for the projects that affect them most.

UDOT social media — UDOT offers an official Twitter feed and Facebook page; UDOT Traffic and its four regions statewide also operate Twitter accounts. Motorists can find a list of these feeds at where they can receive regular updates on road construction and traffic conditions.

Local Utah reporter wins top transportation journalist award

TAMPA, Fla. — The American Traffic Safety Services Association has chosen Jed Boal, reporter and anchor for KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, as the winner of the ATSSA National Media Award. This award goes to “A reporter/news organization, blogger or freelancer who has been fair, balanced, and informative in reporting transportation related issues on radio, television, newspaper and the web”.

KSL-TV's Jed Boal (left), and UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason pose with Boal's plaque.

KSL-TV’s Jed Boal (left), and UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason pose with Boal’s plaque.

Boal, who has worked for Utah’s NBC station for 16 years, has the tenacity and skepticism that a good reporter needs to “dig deep” and combines that with a skillful blend of transparency, relationship building, and storytelling. He’s always looking at new ways to tell a story and inform the public — whether it’s riding along with an Incident Management Team, purposely depriving himself of sleep to conduct a study for a story, or pulling out rumble strips to help the public see what they do.

“There are very few journalists in the entire country that are more fair, balanced, and informative than Jed Boal of KSL-TV,” UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason said.  “Jed is the kind of journalist who turns the stereotype of reporter on it’s head, all while making sure he’s still got the public’s right to know in mind.”


The ATSSA chose KSL-TV’s Jed Boal as its recipient of its 2014 National Media Award.

We’re grateful to work with professionals like Jed Boal in the Utah media. It’s obvious Boal not only loves being a community watchdog, but also cares just as much about letting the public know what amazing things UDOT is doing for the state. This attitude makes it very easy for UDOT to get the word out to the public, knowing Jed will give UDOT a fair shake regardless of whether the story is a positive one or a negative one for the department.



A gallery of maps shed light on STIP process

The STIP Workshop Gallery, now available through UPlan, enhances planning, decision-making and transparency.

The projects on the map are showing UDOT’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP, a four-year plan of funded state and local projects for the State of Utah.

The STIP is updated and published annually after a yearlong cycle of events that includes input from other government agencies, fiscal analysis, and public meetings and comments. The STIP serves as UDOT’s official work plan for developing projects from conception, through design, to advertising and construction.

A screen shot of Region One's STIP map gives the public a look the status of projects and how much is being spent.

A screen shot of Region One’s STIP map gives the public a look the status of projects and how much is being spent.

Before UDOT’s GIS team produced maps showing the STIP, the list of projects were published as static hard-copy maps or as a list of projects. The new STIP maps are web-based and dynamic, and change as UDOT makes changes to the program. The data on the maps are obtained from ePM, UDOT’s electric program management system, and are refreshed nightly.

Policy makers, program managers and the public

The maps will be used at the Utah Transportation Commission Workshop in April. “It gives them a view of the planned and recommended projects in the regions they represent,” says William Lawrence, UDOT Director of Program Finance. Lawrence will use the maps to zoom in to see the exact location, scope, planned schedule and budget of each project at the workshop.

The maps help “open a conversation up among groups at UDOT,” says Lawrence. Portfolio and project managers can use the maps to coordinate or combine projects. For example, a bridge program manager and a pavement program manager can coordinate projects to reduce impact to the public.

The maps help UDOT’s goal to be a transparent public agency. “In a nutshell, it basically says here’s the funding we have and here’s where we’ve planned to spend it,” says Lawrence. It lets the public see “exactly what’s coming in their direction.”

To find the maps, start from the UPlan Map Center website, enter STIP in the search field and select “search for apps” in the drop down box.

This post was written by Catherine Higgins of the UDOT Project Development division. It will also appear in the GIS bi-monthly newsletter.

Bridging Borders: UDOT engineer featured in AZDOT video

With hundreds of miles of interstate weaving through Utah, have you ever wondered how UDOT deals with transportation issues where highways and interstates cross state lines? This video, produced by our friends at the Arizona Department of Transportation, shows what happens on a project in the Virgin River Gorge, which Interstate 15 runs through. Our own Dana Meier, a UDOT Program Engineer assigned to Washington County in Southern Utah, is featured in it.

The Gorge is a main thoroughfare for those seeking to get between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, and is a huge connection point for those moving on to Los Angeles and Phoenix. A shutdown of this 29-mile section of road in Arizona can have wide-reaching effects nationally.

In the video, Region 4’s Meier, a 16-year veteran of the department, explains why interstate collaboration is so important.

“That little stretch of I-15 is a critical link for commerce from the port of Long Beach to the rest of the nation,” Meier said. “Maintaining the continuity and communication is critical for the entire system to function. It doesn’t just affect Utah. It affects Nevada and Arizona. It affects all of us.

At UDOT, collaboration is one of our valued emphasis areas. Teaming with local and interstate partners helps meet local and out-of-town traveler needs by providing a better product, and helps various entities share much-needed knowledge and skill. Collaboration also saves time and taxpayer dollars by avoiding costly arguments, claims and litigation.



Vertical Earthquake Drains for Soil Liquefaction Mitigation

Photo of a verticle earthquake drain

Vertical earthquake drains developed by Nilex, Inc.

Limited blast liquefaction testing, vibration testing, and centrifuge testing suggest that vertical drains can be effective in preventing earthquake-induced soil liquefaction and associated settlements or lateral spreading. However, no full-scale drain installation has been subjected to earthquake-induced ground motions. This lack of performance data under full-scale conditions has been a major impediment to expanding the use of this technique for mitigating liquefaction hazards.

To determine the viability of large diameter (4 in.) prefabricated vertical drains for preventing soil liquefaction and associated settlements under full-scale conditions, the pooled fund study no. TPF-5(244) was initiated in 2013 by UDOT, Brigham Young University (BYU), and other state DOTs from California, New York, and Alaska, in conjunction with the National Science Foundation’s George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Facility at the University at Buffalo (UB) of The State University of New York.


NEES-UB 20-ft high laminar box with hydraulic actuators.

In August and September 2014, two test series with vertical drains in liquefiable (loose and saturated) sand were completed using the laminar shear box and high speed actuator system at NEES-UB. Tests involved level ground conditions with two drain spacings: 4 ft for the first series and 3 ft for the second series. For each drain spacing, the soil profile was subjected to a total of nine sinusoidal motions at increasing peak base accelerations of 0.05g, 0.10g, and 0.20g. The settlement of the soil profile was measured using surface settlement plates, string potentiometers, and Sondex profilometers. Pore pressure transducers were used within the sand at various depths to measure pore water pressures. Accelerometers and LVDTs were located along the height of the shear box to define the acceleration and deflection profiles induced by the shaking at the base. Example data plots are shown below.

A few video recordings from the first series of tests at NEES-UB are available for viewing at this link. Progress reports and the overall scope of work for the study are provided on the web page for study no. TPF-5(244).


Settlement and excess pore pressure ration versus depth plots during the first shaking test at 4-ft drain spacing, with 15 cycles of shaking and 0.05g peak acceleration.

Remaining tasks on the project include data analysis, comparison with previous tests on untreated sand, evaluating predictive methods, and preparing the final report regarding drain effectiveness. If full-scale tests prove the effectiveness of the drainage technique, significant time and costs savings can be achieved for both new construction and for retrofit situations, as compared to other mitigation techniques.

This guest post was written by Kyle Rollins, PhD with Brigham Young University and David Stevens, PE with UDOT Research Division and was originally published in the UDOT Research Newsletter.

BYU students get hands-on experience at UDOT

BYU asphalt test

Students from BYU’s Civil Engineering program get hands-on training on asphalt tests

A countertop with baking pans, spatulas and mixers is not something you’d expect to find when you think of UDOT. But they’re all important tools that help us preserve our infrastructure in Utah.

How, you ask? On Tuesday, Jan. 27, students from Brigham Young University’s Civil Engineering program found out during a trip to Region Three’s Materials Lab in Orem.

Using oil, water, a vacuum and a lot of ovens, the students took part in hands-on training on asphalt testing and verification of asphalt mix design by baking, scooping, calculating and compacting the material.


BYU Civil Engineering students pose with William “Billy Bob” Larson, Region 3 Lab Manager (t-shirt) and Clint Tyler (far left).

Before paving occurs on a roadway, engineers determine the appropriate materials for the project, document the specifications for a concrete or asphalt mix and test the pavement design in the lab. These tests help ensure that the road surfaces we lay down are the most efficient, longest-lasting they can be. We believe that good roads cost less: less to build and less to maintain. Through quality assurance tests at our region labs, we maximize the value of taxpayer dollars.

 Lab Manager William “Billy Bob” Larson said his lab invites students from BYU and Utah Valley University to take part in hands-on learning on a regular basis to enhance what they learn in the classroom.

 “If you don’t actually get out and do it, all your learning is just words,” Larson said.


BYU pride on one student’s asphalt core

To Corrode or Not to Corrode, a GFRP Question: GFRP Reinforcing Bars in Concrete Columns

Concrete bridge structures are typically designed to last 50 to 75 years, but seldom last half that time before needing major rehabilitation, due to degradation caused by corrosion of steel reinforcement similar to that shown in Fig. 1. Corrosion in commonly used epoxy-coated steel bars has raised concern with its use and has raised interest in the use of alternative reinforcement like fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) bars. Glass FRP (GFRP) bars are a cost-competitive alternative to epoxy-coated steel bars and have been found to not corrode (see UDOT Report No. UT-11.16).

Photo of bridge columns showing corrosion

Fig. 1. Typical corrosion found on bridge structures

Many transportation costs and user impacts associated with typical corrosion problems could be potentially eliminated with a proactive approach of using non-corrosive reinforcement (e.g. GFRP) in the original construction of concrete elements. Experimental tests were conducted recently at the University of Utah on circular concrete columns reinforced with GFRP and/or steel longitudinal bars and GFRP confining spirals to evaluate their behavior and viability as a potential construction alternative.

One set of columns was reinforced with GFRP spirals and GFRP longitudinal bars, another set of columns was reinforced with GFRP spirals and steel longitudinal bars, and a final set of columns was reinforced with double GFRP spirals and a combination of GFRP and steel longitudinal bars (see Fig. 2). Tests were performed on 12 in. diameter short (3 ft tall) and slender (12 ft tall) columns. These are the only tests known to the authors which have investigated the stability of slender FRP-reinforced concrete columns.

Photo of GFRP columns

Fig. 2. GFRP reinforcement using in column tests.

An analytical confinement and buckling model was developed and validated against the tests to provide a means to predict the behavior and capacity of FRP-reinforced concrete columns. This enabled the analysis of additional reinforcement scenarios utilizing FRP (glass or carbon) longitudinal bars and spirals.

In general it was found that FRP spirals and FRP longitudinal bars can be a viable method of reinforcement for concrete columns, particularly in corrosive environments. FRP spirals, however, need to be placed at a closer pitch spacing to provide confinement levels similar to steel spirals due to the lower modulus of elasticity of FRP composites. On the other hand, FRP longitudinal bars can provide increased deflection capacity as compared with steel bars due to the higher tensile capacity of FRP composites.

Additional research is needed to better quantify the confining capacity of FRP spirals and the required pitch spacing needed. Also research investigating the behavior of FRP-reinforced columns under seismic loading will be an important consideration.

This guest post was written by Thomas A. Hales, PhD, SE with the UDOT Research Division and Chris P. Pantelides, PhD, SE with the University of Utah and was originally published in the UDOT Research Newsletter.

UDOT explains the 90s

One of the trending topics for today on twitter was #explainthe90sin4words. We here at UDOT got nostalgic thinking about the fashion, music and sports from the decade that brought us flannel shirts, boy bands, and the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals.

An artist's rendition of what the "new" I-15 would look like

An artist’s rendition of what the “new” I-15 would look like

Our memory jogged back to 1997, when we started the Interstate 15 reconstruction project, which was UDOT’s first design-build procurement. The project involved the reconstruction of 16.2 miles of the interstate in the Salt Lake Valley, including the addition of new general-purpose lanes to go along with high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. The project involved the construction or reconstruction of more than 130 bridges, the reconstruction of seven urban interchanges, and the reconstruction of three major junctions with Interstate routes 80 and 215.

The project was the largest ever undertaken by the State of Utah, and is still the largest single design-build highway contract in the United States. It cost $1.63 billion, with $448 million coming from federal funds and 1.184 billion coming from the state.  Construction was finished in the summer of 2001.

The reconstruction project presented the Department with significant challenges in scheduling and construction, especially with the goal of finishing prior to the Winter Olympics in 2002, and without prolonged traffic disruptions. The design-build approach allowed us to meet those demands while also benefitting from several private sector innovations and value-added features.

We’re happy with the effect this monumental project has had on the lives of Utahns, and those who have traveled in our great state. We’re also grateful for all of you who were patient with the process a decade and a half ago.

And thanks to twitter for taking us back to memory lane.

A photo from the I-15 reconstruction in the late 1990s.

A photo from the I-15 reconstruction in the late 1990s.


Highlights from the 2014 Annual Efficiencies Report

Efficiencies within UDOT often generate cost savings for the public and the Department through better utilization of resources and innovative technologies. At the end of each year, UDOT prepares an efficiencies report which summarizes key efficiency initiatives from the year. The annual report fulfills a requirement for UDOT to describe the efficiencies and significant accomplishments achieved during the past year to the State Legislature. UDOT Senior Leaders use the report in presentations during legislative committee meetings.

Following are the key efficiency initiatives summarized in the FY 2014 report:

  • SUCCESS Framework Initiative
    • Statewide Access Management Program
    • Preconstruction Project Scoping
    • Ports of Entry Truck Processing
    • Snow and Ice Control
    • Procurement System
    • Heavy Duty Truck Maintenance
  • Report Auto Generator for Roadway “As-Builts”
  • Uinta Basin Rail
  • Outdoor Advertising Control Map
  • Automated Queue Warning Detection System
  • Cement-Treated Asphalt Base
  • Citizen Reporter Program
  • Real-Time Winter Road Weather Index Performance Measurement
  • Variable Speed Limit in Parley’s Canyon
  • Snow Fencing Efficiencies

One example from the 2014 report is the SUCCESS Framework Initiative, a set of management principles from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, designed to boost the quality and efficiency of government services, with the goal of improving government operations and services by 25% by the end of 2016. One of the six major systems that UDOT is focusing on for the SUCCESS Framework is the Statewide Access Management Program. With a lot of hard work and collaboration, the Access Management Team reduced the time and labor cost required for processing access permit applications. As a result, the per-permit processing cost was lowered from $1,709 to $1,532 ($177 per permit), providing approximately $42,000 in annual cost savings to UDOT.

Citizen Report ScreenshotAnother example from 2014 is the Citizen Reporter Program, which enlists trained volunteers to report on road weather conditions along specific roadway segments across Utah. This citizen crowd-sourcing contributes to the quantity, quality and timeliness of traveler information, especially in rural areas. As a result, UDOT saves approximately $250,000 annually from the reduced need for road weather instrumentation, and from efficiencies in storm forecasting.

The UDOT Research Division coordinates each year with UDOT Senior Leaders and the Communications Office to collect and compile write-ups on the past year’s key efficiency initiatives. We appreciate all of the UDOT Regions and Groups that submitted FY 2014 efficiencies topics and write-ups on the key items. This process will start again in August for FY 2015.

The 2014 and earlier annual reports are available online at

This post was originally published in the UDOT Research Newsletter.

New Mobile App: UDOT Click ‘n Fix

Photo of iPhone Click 'n Fix appDid you know that 630 UDOT maintenance employees take care of nearly 6,000 miles of highway around Utah? It’s true, and they do an excellent job of finding and fixing issues before most of us even notice. However, with that many roads, we can help them by keeping an eye out for problems and letting them know about it. To make submitting service requests as easy as possible, we’ve implemented a new iPhone and Android app called UDOT Click ‘n Fix.

UDOT Click ‘n Fix allows anyone to report an issue by dropping a pin on a map at the location of the problem. It also allows others to see everything that has been reported and to add their own comments or follow the issue to receive notifications.

Once the location is selected Click ‘n Fix asks a few follow up questions to help crews understand what needs to be fixed. Submitted issues are sent to UDOT crews and a response is posted as soon as possible.

Keep in mind, UDOT will only be able to help with issues on federal interstates and state highways like Bangerter Highway (S.R. 154) and State Street (U.S. 89). Also, while safety is our top priority, this tool is for non-emergency purposes.

To use UDOT Click ‘n Fix, download the iPhone or Android app or visit the UDOT website and use the embedded widget.

See the desktop tutorial:

See a mobile tutorial at