Tag Archives: Region 2

Don’t get run over by a GRAMA

During this time of year, when we hear the word “GRAMA,” it is usually followed by the words: “got run over by a reindeer.”

But not for Brandi Trujillo.

Brandi is a member of UDOT’s risk management team. Part of her assignment is to respond to requests for information, documents and materials made through Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act – otherwise known as GRAMA requests. And those requests come in at a rate of about two requests per working day – even during the holidays.

“The law is designed to give everyone – from the media to business and political interests to everyday citizens – access to public records,” Brandi said. “We do the public’s work with public money, and it’s the public’s right to know how and why we spend it.”

As a state agency, Brandi said, responding to these requests is not just a matter of law. “UDOT has identified transparency as one of our primary emphasis areas,” she said. “We really believe in that. So responding to these requests is important to us as a matter of principle, not just because we are required to do it.”

Grama Coordinator Brandi Trujillo processes GRAMA requests from her office.

Grama Coordinator Brandi Trujillo

Because UDOT intends to respond appropriately to GRAMA requests, UDOT’s attorneys feel it is important that employees understand what kinds of records are subject to GRAMA scrutiny. Renee Spooner, who is an assistant Attorney General for the state of Utah and is assigned specifically to work with UDOT, said those records include:

  • Work product created in the course of employment
  • Email correspondence and written communication
  • Books
  • Letters
  • Documents
  • Papers
  • Maps
  • Plans
  • Photographs
  • Films
  • Cards
  • Tapes
  • Recordings
  • Electronic data

“Generally,” Spooner said, “the only protected documents are attorney work product and attorney/client communication. Everything else is fair game, regardless of its physical form or characteristics. So it is probably a good idea to remind employees to be sure that the language they use in all of these public records is appropriate, accurate and professional. You never know when a document, map or email you create may become part of a GRAMA request, legal case or news story.”

And nobody wants to get run over by a GRAMA.

Grama Coordinator Brandi Trujillo

All UDOT GRAMA requests are handled at Brandi’s office

Maintenance crew awarded Silver Barrel for saving Cottonwood Canyon homes

Crews from the Cottonwood Maintenance Shed 2433 and members from the South Valley Maintenance Shed 2427 are being awarded a Silver Barrel for going above and beyond the call of duty to save homes and and roadways after a landslide in Little Cottonwood Canyon in May.

233 Landslide 01

After finding out that an embankment was starting to slide toward homes near Alta, the crew surveyed the problem and came back quickly to address it. Working in driving rain and extreme weather conditions, the crew took three days to remove mud, rock and debris  to keep it from sliding into homes and onto the road. The crew also spoke with concerned homeowners and caretakers about what they were doing to save the homes, and helped everyone feel comfortable, even during the trying circumstances.

“[The crew] worked hard in extreme conditions, and they never complained once,” said Jake Brown, the Cottonwood Station supervisor. “They really made it happen with a good attitude even with longer shifts.”

Ultimately, they were able to stabilize the hill and install a barrier so no further damage would occur.

233 Landslide 03

“The crew made a quick response and resolution to a possibly serious situation. UDOT was very approachable and willing to communicate with all parties involved,” said Frank Perkins of Canyon Services, a property management company in Alta. “It’s a real treat to have the open communication with UDOT in dealing with problems in Little Cottonwood Canyon.”

Executive Director Carlos Braceras was present to give the Silver Barrels to crew members.

“These men are the face of UDOT for the public. No one knows what I do, or what your region director does. But they know what you do. And you carry a fine balance between keeping the canyon clean and safe while also maintaining the area’s other major roadways.” Braceras said.

081915 02 Carlos Awarding

The Silver Barrel Award started in 2012 by then-Executive Director John Njord. It is meant to recognize those who go above and beyond the call of duty to give exemplary service to the citizens and infrastructure of Utah. Much like college football players, who receive stickers to put on their helmets for a job well done on the field, UDOT employees who receive this award get Silver Barrel sticker for their hard hats, a pin, and a certificate.

081915 04 pin and sticker

The members receiving the Silver Barrel award are:

  • Jake Brown, Cottonwood Station Supervisor
  • Shawn Wright, Cottonwood Station
  • Keith Trott, Cottonwood Station
  • Michael Johnson, Cottonwood Station
  • Semi Tuiatua, Cottonwood Station
  • Tyler Connor, Cottonwood Station
  • Whitikei Lutui, Cottonwood Station
  • Sean Lewis, Cottonwood Station
  • Kirby Peacock, South Valley Station
  • Jared Thomas, South Valley Station
UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras and other Region Two leaders with the crews.

UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras and other Region Two leaders with the crews.

Gov Herbert says updated Walking School Bus app is a SNAP

On Thursday morning, August 13, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert put on his sneakers and joined UDOT’s Student Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP) to walk to school with a group of Sugarhouse families. The short stroll was part of UDOT SNAP’s kick-off to celebrate the new-and-improved Walking School Bus mobile app.

While accompanying the students to school, Gov. Herbert praised UDOT SNAP for creating the free, forward-thinking app, which empowers parents to allow their children to walk and bike to school.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert walks with school children in Sugarhouse to celebrate the new "Walking School Bus" app

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert walks with school children in Sugarhouse to celebrate the new “Walking School Bus” app

“Walking and biking to school makes our neighborhoods safer, our air cleaner and our children healthier. It also helps to build a greater sense of community,” Gov. Herbert said. “I encourage all parents who live within walking distance of school to download the free UDOT Walking School Bus App, join or organize a walking group and start the school year off right by making walking and biking to and from school a habit.”

During the walk, Gov. Herbert also encouraged the young students to continue their studies.

Parents were interested to learn that the updated Walking School Bus app now included easy tutorials, a way to invite their friends via text and social media, and that the app appears to be more navigable. They also remarked on how important the safety features on the app are to them.

Kids like the app, too.

“I feel safe, and I like walking with my friends,” nine-year-old Alex Beasley said. “And it also saves gas because you’re not using your cars.

UDOT developed and launched the free app in August 2014 to help make walking and biking to school safer and easier. With the app, parents can create and join walking groups, send messages within the app to coordinate walks, and even notify other parents when students have arrived at school. In its first year, more than 500 walking school bus groups were created across the state, and parents and students using the app reduced 91,000 car trips and 37 million grams of CO2 emissions, walked 88,000 miles and burned 8.8 million calories.

The free Walking School Bus App is available for download for iPhone and Android devices. For more information, visit http://www.udot.utah.gov/walkingschoolbus.

MEDIA STORIES ON THIS EVENT:

Gov. Herbert backs UDOT’s ‘Walking School Bus’ AppABC News 4 Utah

UDOT aims to reduce pollution, increase child safety and exercise with ‘Walking School Bus’ appFox 13 News

Herbert, students trade wheels for sneakers on ‘walking school bus’ Deseret News

Reserve family gets walking with Utah governor – Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System

UDOT Walking School Bus app aims to improve safety KSL5 News

Guv encourages Utah parents to ditch the school carpools in favor of walkingThe Salt Lake Tribune

Governor says kids should ditch carpools and walk to schoolThe Daily Herald

 

 

 

 

New Long-Range Plan released for rural roads

Projects planned over next 25 years will enhance Utah’s economy, quality of life

RICHFIELD —  The Utah Department of Transportation today released its long-range plan forecasting transportation needs in rural Utah over the next 25 years.

The department updates its long-range transportation plan every four years with an eye toward keeping traffic moving now and into the future. The plan focuses primarily on rural areas of the state and identifies a list of projects that will strengthen Utah’s economy and enhance the state’s quality of life.

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Transportation needs for Utah’s urban areas are developed in cooperation with metropolitan planning organizations like the Wasatch Front Regional Council and the Mountainland Association of Governments. These long-range plans, along with UDOT’s Long-Range Plan, are combined to create Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan, which will be published this fall.

“UDOT follows a fiscally responsible approach to maximize the value of Utah’s infrastructure investment,” said Jeff Harris, UDOT planning director. “The department leverages limited resources in a way that will provide the greatest benefit.”

Harris said the Long-Range Plan considers the unique needs and strengths of rural Utah, including tourism, the energy sector, interstate freight movement, access to recreation opportunities, and the need for enhanced connections between communities. It employs sophisticated travel demand modeling software to anticipate future transportation needs, taking into account projected population growth as well as employment data forecasts.

The plan also reflects the predicted quantity and timing of future funding, as well as public input accumulated during a series of public meetings focused on the draft project list last spring.

Projects listed in this plan include projects to widen roads, add new passing or climbing lanes, modify interchanges and make other needed improvements throughout the state. You can view the Long-Range Plan here http://www.udot.utah.gov/go/lrp.

MEDIA STORIES ON THIS EVENT:

Road projects revealed by UDOT for next 25 years – Taylor Hintz, Ogden Standard-Examiner

UDOT releases long range plan for rural roads” – ABC4Utah

 

#MessageMonday: Seat Belts On, Phones Off

Editors Note: #messageMonday is part of a relatively new, ongoing Zero Fatalities campaign aimed at improving safety behaviors on Utah roads. It is a partnership between UDOT and the Utah Department of Public Safety. More information about the campaign can be found here

081015 VMS

They’re two of the main killers on Utah roads: seat belts (or not wearing them) and cell phones.

According to The National Safety Council, it’s estimated that 1.4 million crashes each year involve drivers using phones (e.g. making calls, choosing music, reading e-mails and texting), and a minimum of 200,000 additional crashes each year involve drivers who are texting. Distracted driving involving some form of phone use accounted for almost 100 fatalities on Utah roads in 2014 ALONE. Whether you’re making a call, looking at a text, or even having Siri send the message for you, there’s too much multitasking for your brain to focus on driving safely, and all too often, it leads to a car crash.

Distracted driving phones

And no matter what caused the crash, your chances of survival increase significantly if you’re wearing a seat belt. Since 2005, unrestrained or improperly restrained victims account for just about half of all car-related deaths on Utah roads. Wearing your seat belt isn’t just a personal choice: it affects everyone around you. In fact, statistics show that unbuckled passengers can increase probability of death for other people in the car by 40 percent. Of course, since May 2015, it’s also the law for everyone to buckle up any time you’re on the road.

So there are the facts.


At UDOT and Zero Fatalities, we’re not trying to scare you into practicing safe driving techniques; it’s about more than that. It’s about each and every life that could have been saved had a different choice been made. It’s about that brother, sister, mother, father, friend, or other loved one who isn’t here, but should be. Car crashes may be inevitable, even with safely designed roads and careful drivers. But each time we get into a vehicle, we can control the choices we make to help keep our roads safer — for our families, our neighbors, and ourselves.

So please wear your seat belt. Wait until your trip is done to make that call or send that text. Your family and friends will be grateful for that choice when you make it to them safely.

 

Plan for weekend work in Davis and Salt Lake County

EDITOR’S NOTE: The closure of Legacy Parkway will not occur this weekend. It has been rescheduled for later in the month.  Because Legacy Highway work cannot be done on the Aug 7th weekend, there WILL be closures on I-15 southbound in the North Salt Lake Center Street area. Only three lanes will be available on Saturday, Aug 8. -NRN

Legacy Parkway weekend closure, I-15 lane restrictions scheduled to start Friday evening 

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises drivers to plan ahead for construction this weekend. Legacy Parkway is scheduled to close from Friday night to Monday morning for bridge maintenance. In addition, I-15 will be reduced to two lanes in both directions on Friday and Saturday night while workers reapply lane markings.

Legacy Parkway

Legacy Parkway is scheduled to close in both directions from I-15 to I-215 beginning tomorrow night as early as 7 p.m.The southbound lanes will close first, followed by the northbound lanes at 10 p.m. On Monday, Aug. 10, the southbound lanes are scheduled to reopen in time for the morning commute by 5 a.m., followed by the northbound lanes at 8 a.m.

During this closure, crews will be completing bridge maintenance at several locations along Legacy Parkway. Drivers traveling through Davis County should use I-15 as an alternate route. The closure of Legacy Parkway will not occur this weekend. It has been rescheduled for later in the month.  -NRN  

062915 Legacy Traffic

I-15 in Salt Lake County

Because Legacy Highway work cannot be done on the Aug 7th weekend, there WILL be closures on I-15 southbound in the North Salt Lake Center Street area. Only three lanes will be available starting 10 p.m. Friday, Aug 7. to Saturday, Aug 8. -NRN

Drivers should plan ahead for delays on I-15 in Salt Lake County on Friday and Saturday night. I-15 is scheduled to be reduced to two lanes in both directions from 4500 South to 10600 South from Friday, Aug. 7, at 11 p.m. to Saturday, Aug. 8, at 7 a.m., and again from Saturday, Aug. 8, at 11 p.m. to Sunday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m. These lane closures will allow workers to reapply lane markings on the freeway.

During this time, freeway off- and on-ramps are scheduled to close intermittently as construction equipment passes. Crews will not be permitted to close consecutive exits, so drivers should proceed to the next exit if their desired ramp is closed.

traffic

I-215 from Taylorsville to Murray

Construction continues to repave the eastbound lanes of I-215 between Redwood Road in Taylorsville and 300 East in Murray. Eastbound I-215 is reduced to one lane each night beginning as early as 9 p.m., and is reduced to two lanes during daytime hours on Saturdays and Sundays. UDOT advises allowing extra travel time or using alternate routes during these times.

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.

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. 

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.