UDOT Urges Drivers to Be Prepared for Winter Weather

UDOT Urges Drivers to Be Prepared for Winter Weather

 


With the first valley snow of the season scheduled to fall this week, UDOT held its annual Snow Show to demonstrate the department’s snow removal preparations and remind drivers to do their part.

This year, UDOT is urging drivers to make sure their vehicles have chains or snow tires when driving up Utah’s canyons. Chains or M/S-rated tires are required if planning travel through many of Utah’s canyons or mountain passes. For more information, visit udot.utah.gov/go/chainup.

“If you’re driving up the canyon and see an overhead sign that says, ‘chains required,’ pay attention,” said Jeff Reynolds, supervisor of UDOT’s Incident Management Team. “It’s not optional. Don’t risk it. Unfortunately, every year we see people take their chances and get in a crash, which often blocks the canyon for hours. Make sure you have the right equipment before you hit the road.”

Other driver safety tips include:

  • Slow down.
  • Do not pass a snow plow, and stay back at least 200 feet.
  • Allow extra distance between your car and the one in front of you.
  • Keep your windshield, windows and lights clear of snow and ice.
  • Check your tires for proper pressure and sufficient tread.
  • Check your lights and windshield wiper blades to make sure they work properly.
  • Prepare an emergency kit that includes blanket(s), a flashlight, a first aid kit, jumper cables, bottled water, and granola/energy bars.

More than 500 full-time snow plow drivers will be working to keep Utah’s 6,000 miles of state highways and 980 miles of interstate clear of snow and ice this winter. “Our team is ready for whatever the winter brings,” said Jake Brown, Roadway Operations Manager for Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon. “We’ve been preparing for this first storm for weeks now and are anxious to get to work. Our goal is to keep the roads clear so you can safely get to where you’re going.”

UDOT Snow Removal, By The Numbers:

  • UDOT’s fleet includes 533 snow plow trucks, 7 self-propelled snowblowers, and 13 TowPlows.
  • 2.5 million gallons of salt brine, enough to cover a football field nearly 8 feet deep, are applied to the roads annually to prevent icing.
  • 220,000 tons of salt are applied every year to melt ice and snow.
  • 20,000 tons of grit and volcanic cinders are applied to provide extra traction for drivers.
  • $24 million is budgeted for snow removal budget every year, which averages to about $1 million per winter storm.

MEDIA ADVISORY: UDOT to Host ‘Snow Show’ in Preparation for First Valley Winter Storm

MEDIA ADVISORY

UDOT to HostSnow Showin Preparation for First Valley Winter Storm

 Department urges drivers to be ready for canyon driving with either chains or the right snow tires

WHAT:
Media availability regarding the start of the winter driving season. UDOT will showcase how it’s ready for the snow, and give drivers tips on being prepared for all that winter will bring.

WHO:
Representatives from UDOT snow removal operations, and the Incident Management Team.

WHERE:
UDOT’s Cottonwood Maintenance Station
6601 South 3000 East
Cottonwood Heights
* Directions from downtown SLC: take the I-215 east belt to 6200 South; turn right on 3000 East

WHEN:
Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 10 a.m.

VISUALS

  • UDOT snow removal equipment including blowers, plows and a TowPlow
  • Vehicle with M/S rated snow tires

-UDOT-

Media Contact:
John Gleason
UDOT Public Information Officer
jgleason@utah.gov
Cell: 801-560-7740

UHP and UDOT Urge Motorists to Drive off Freeway after a Minor Crash

UHP and UDOT Urge Motorists to Drive off Freeway after a Minor Crash

Pulling into the shoulder causes major delays — the equivalent of blocking a lane of freeway traffic

 

SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 15, 2016) — The Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) and Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) are urging drivers to drive off the freeway after minor fender benders. These types of crashes can cause major delays on the freeway and create safety issues.

After a typical crash on a six-lane freeway where the involved vehicles pull onto the shoulder, traffic will still back up as if two lanes of the freeway were blocked, according to UDOT traffic operations engineers. If the vehicles don’t pull onto the shoulder and instead block a full lane of traffic, that causes delays equal to blocking three lanes.

“Even the most minor crashes can cause major delays,” UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason said. “Ideally if you can drive your car, please pull off at the next exit.”

Of the 13,706 crashes investigated by the UHP this year, just 38 percent have moved off the freeway, according to UHP Col. Michael Rapich.

The UHP is doing everything it can to clear crashes and get them off the roadway so traffic can flow smoothly, but they need the public’s help.

“Do everyone a favor, and move your car,” Rapich said. “Call 9-1-1, and listen to what the dispatcher tells you. They’ll help keep you safe and make sure to send help your way.”

By calling 9-1-1, that starts the office reporting process, so drivers need not worry about leaving the scene of an accident.

Keeping your car on the freeway after a crash can be dangerous as well. It’s even more dangerous if drivers exit their vehicles and stand on the interstate. Rapich and Gleason said if a vehicle is disabled and unable to move to the next exit, drivers and passengers should stay in the vehicle with their seatbelts fastened.

“With winter approaching, the chance for a secondary crash is extremely high,” Gleason said. “You’re basically a sitting duck if you get out of your vehicle. Stay safe, buckled up in your car, and call 9-1-1 for help.”

UDOT and UHP both have tools to remove disabled vehicles from the road. UDOT’s Incident Management Team has five trucks equipped with stingers to pull disabled vehicles off the interstate, and UHP troopers utilize push bumpers to remove disabled vehicles off the roadway.

 

-UDOT-

Media Contacts:

Sgt. Todd Royce
Public Information Officer, Utah Highway Patrol
troyce@utah.gov
801-554-5659

John Gleason
Public Information Officer, UDOT
jgleason@utah.gov
Cell: 801-560-7740

Zero Fatalities Seeking Utah’s Top Teen Talent for 2017 Super Bowl Spot

 For Immediate Release:

 

Zero Fatalities Seeking Utah’s Top Teen Talent for 2017 Super Bowl Spot

Teens can submit videos about traffic safety for the chance to win coveted airtime during the Big Game

 

SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 10, 2016) – UDOT’s Zero Fatalities program is calling on Utah teens to submit their best safety video for a chance to have it air during the 2017 Super Bowl. Teens throughout the state are encouraged to submit a 25-second video from now until January 6, 2017, on the Zero Fatalities website.

All entrants will receive five movie ticket vouchers for entering. Entrants submitting before December 10, 2016 will receive five movie tickets to a private, opening-weekend showing of Star Wars: Rogue One, at Jordan Commons, while tickets last.

The winning video will air during the Super Bowl telecast in February.

“When it comes to traffic safety, the most influential spokesperson for teens are their peers,” said Kristen Hoschouer, manager of the Zero Fatalities program for the Utah Department of Transportation. “The aim of this contest is to get teens to pay attention to the very important and serious issue of increasing teen driving safety, while also building a network of teen traffic-safety advocates who understand that zero teen fatalities is the only acceptable goal.”

To be considered, a submitted video must be:

  • Teen directed and produced
  • 25 seconds in length
  • Focused on Zero Fatalities and the five deadly driving behaviors. (Note: the video doesn’t have to include all five behaviors [distracted, drowsy, aggressive, impaired driving and not buckling up], but must address at least one behavior.)
  • Submitted no later than Jan. 6, 2017. Submissions must be made on the Zero Fatalities website, at ZeroFatalities.com/contest/.

Last year, 25 teens died in crashes on Utah roads. As of the end of October, there have already been 26 teen deaths in 2016. More than 60 percent of teen traffic fatalities were unbuckled in 2015. Statistics suggest drivers under the age of 20 are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash.

“When it comes to combating the behaviors killing teens on Utah roads, teen-to-teen communication is incredibly powerful,” Hoschouer said. “Not only will this contest get teens thinking about how they can improve their driving, but it will help further the family and community discussion needed to save lives.”

To learn more about the contest, visit ZeroFatalities.com/contest/.

Media Contact:

John Gleason
UDOT Public Information Officer
jgleason@utah.gov
Cell: 801-560-7740

Also available for interview:
Chad Lythgoe
Drivers Education Teacher – Wood Cross High School
clythgoe@dsdmail.net
Cell: 801-725-1048

#WorkForUsWednesday – November 9, 2016

From the front lines, to program management, there are several career opportunities available at UDOT. For this week’s #WorkForUsWednesday, check out theses seven job openings.

UDOT’s mission is to innovate transportation solutions that strengthen Utah’s economy and enhance quality of life. Come join a workforce of over 1,600 employees who all work hard to keep Utah moving.

  • Recruitment #10470 – Transportation Technician II – Ogden, Region 1 Ogden, Opens 11/04/2016, Closes 11/10/2016
  • Recruitment #010434 – Electronic Technical Specialist II, Region 2 – Salt Lake City, Opens 11/7/16, Closes 11/27/16
  • Extended Recruitment #10156 – Seasonal Transportation Tech I, Region 2 – Wendover, Opens 9/29/16, Closes 11/13/16
  • Recruitment #10512 – Department Data Coordinator (Business Analyst Supervisor), Complex – Central Preconstruction, Opens 11/8/16, Closes 11/15/1
  • Recruitment #10503 – Right if Way Title and Closing Program Manager (Program Manager), Complex – Right of Way, Opens 11/8/16, Closes 11/15/16
  • Recruitment #10486 – Avalanche Forecaster (Roadway Safety Specialist II), Region 2 – Provo & American Fork Canyons, Opens 11/8/16, Closes 11/13/16
  • Recruitment #10497 – Office Specialist I (Temporary), Region 2 – SLC, Opens 11/8/16, Closes 11/15/16

Visit the Utah State Jobs website for more information on the specific job roles and to actually apply for these position. Simply filter the search criteria by department to (810) Department of Transportation, and you’ll be on your way.

We hope to see you proudly wearing UDOT orange soon.

New Traffic Shift, Lane Split Start on I-215 This Weekend

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises drivers to plan ahead for an upcoming traffic shift and lane split on the I-215 west belt, and for nightly road closures on 7200 South near I-15, starting this weekend.

Southbound I-215 is scheduled to shift onto new concrete pavement from S.R. 201 to 4700 South as early as Sunday night, Oct. 30. The southbound lanes will also be split from S.R. 201 to 4100 South, so southbound drivers will need to stay right at the split to exit at 3500 South.

In connection with this traffic shift, the freeway ramp from westbound S.R. 201 to southbound I-215 will be closed starting tonight for up to two months. Drivers will need to use an alternate route to access southbound I-215.

The I-215 west belt reconstruction project is removing the existing pavement and replacing it with new concrete from S.R. 201 to 4700 South; rebuilding interchange ramps at 4700 South and S.R. 201; reconstructing bridges over S.R. 201; and adding new exit-only lanes to the freeway. The project is scheduled for completion next year.

Also starting Sunday night, 7200 South is scheduled to close nightly for up to a month between I-15 and 700 West. The off-ramps from I-15 to westbound 7200 South will also be closed. Crews are repairing the UTA TRAX bridge over 7200 South.

For the latest information regarding this and other UDOT construction projects, drivers can visit the UDOT Traffic website (www.udottraffic.utah.gov) or download the free UDOT Traffic app, available for smartphones and tablets. Drivers can also follow @udottraffic and @utahdot on Twitter.

 

MEDIA EVENT: Bangerter Highway to Close this Weekend to Relocate Major Aqueduct

Bangerter Highway to Close this Weekend to Relocate Major Aqueduct

 

Briefing to provide media up-close look at 66-inch pipe inside trench. The Jordan Valley Aqueduct provides water to most of the Salt Lake Valley

 

WHAT:
Media briefing to provide reporters an up-close look at the Jordan Valley Aqueduct relocation in Taylorsville.

UDOT will close Bangerter Highway from 5400 South to 4700 South, Friday, Oct. 28, at 9 p.m. through Monday, Oct. 31, at 5 a.m. This closure will allow crews to relocate the Jordan Valley Aqueduct across Bangerter Highway in preparation for the construction of a freeway-style interchange at 5400 South.

Expect heavy traffic congestion and delays during the day on Saturday and Sunday. Southbound drivers will detour west on 3500 South to 5600 West. Northbound drivers will detour east on 5400 South to Redwood Road. Through traffic traveling east and west on 5400 South and 4700 South will flow as normal.

 

WHEN:
Thursday, Oct. 27 at 10 a.m.

WHERE:
Meet at the Chevron parking lot at 3822 W 5400 S (please do not block the gas pumps)
* To enter the work zone participants must wear long pants and close toed shoes. Personal protection equipment will be provided and must be worn in the work zone.

WHO:
UDOT Project Manager John Montoya
UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason

VISUALS:

* First-hand view of the trench and the chance to shoot video/take pictures inside the new pipe
* Map of detour routes
* B-roll of construction provided

 

Media Contact:
John Gleason
Public Information Officer
jgleason@utah.gov
Cell: 801-560-7740

UDOT Installs Signs Extending National Bike Route

For Immediate Release

UDOT Installs Signs Extending National Bike Route

Active Transportation Provides New Economic Opportunity for Rural Utah

Cedar City, Utah (October 25, 2016) –  The description of Utah as the “Crossroads of the West” takes on new meaning with a project recently contracted through the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT).   But rather than the gold associated with the meeting of the rails, adventure seekers are now looking for green to be found along a national system of designated bike routes intended to connect the Atlantic to the Pacific.

U.S. Bicycle Routes 70 & 79 now officially span Southern Utah winding through seven counties from Colorado to Nevada as a UDOT contractor finishes new sign installations.  The two routes designated with the new green signs converge in Iron County while rural communities along the stretch are hoping their local economies can pick up some steam from the movement.

Bicycle Route 70 enters Utah on the eastern border west of Monticello on U.S. Highway 491, moves south to Blanding and then veers northwest passing near Natural Bridges National monument, over the Colorado River at Hite’s Crossing, eastward through Capitol Reef National Park, then bending south and west along All-American Road  and Scenic Byway  12.  The route passes Bryce Canyon National Park before moving to Scenic Byway 14 and descending below Cedar Breaks National Monument.  Bicycle Route 79 enters from Nevada near the town of Garrison on State Route 21 extending southeast through Milford toward Cedar City.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) established the United States Bicycle Route System (USBRS) in 1978 and approved a national-level corridor designation plan in 2008.  The system has gained input from the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) and the Adventure Cycling Association among others.  The majority of national corridor signs have been installed within only the past couple of years.

UDOT representatives along with cycling enthusiasts and other interested parties will meet in Cedar City Wednesday morning to view the new signs, highlight respectful use of roads and consider what the new designated routes may mean for local communities and tourists.

–UDOT–beaver_countymilfordpanguitchcedar_city

#WorkForUsWednesday – October 19, 2016

It’s #WorkForUsWednesday! We have several new positions open. Check them out!

UDOT’s mission is to innovate transportation solutions that strengthen Utah’s economy and enhance quality of life. Come join a workforce of over 1,600 employees who all work hard to keep Utah moving.

  • Recruitment #09582 – Performance Audit Manager, Complex – Internal Audit, Opens 10/12/16, Closes 10/26/16
  • Recruitment #10253 – Region Right of Way Control Coordinator, Region 2 – SLC, Opens 10/13/16, Closes 10/26/16
  • Recruitment #10209 – Transportation Technician II, Region 4 – Thompson, Opens 10/13/16, Closes 10/26/16
  • Recruitment #10289  – Seasonal Transportation Technician I – Hooper, Region 1 – Hooper, Opens 10/14/2016, Closes 10/30/2016
  • Recruitment #10249- Transportation Technician II – Riverside, Region 1 – Riverside, Opens 10/17/2016, Closes 10/27/2016
  • Recruitment #10326 – Transportation Technician II, Region 4 – Moab, Opens 10/18/16, Closes 11/01/16

Visit the Utah State Jobs website for more information on the specific job roles and to actually apply for these position. Simply filter the search criteria by department to (810) Department of Transportation, and you’ll be on your way.

We hope to see you proudly wearing UDOT orange soon.

UDOT Statement: Project Fatality

This morning we were devastated by the news that a UDOT contractor was killed while installing avalanche control equipment in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Our contractors are part of the UDOT family and it’s heartbreaking any time something like this happens. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this worker’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

At UDOT, safety is our top priority. Work on the project is shut down pending an investigation.