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UDOT and UHP expect massive traffic problems going to Golden Spike

(A.J. Russell, Deseret News Archives)

BOX ELDER COUNTY – The Utah Department of Transportation is going to keep an extremely close eye on the traffic in northern Utah tomorrow as they expect massive traffic problems going to the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike.

Their advice is that if you have a ticket to the event and you plan on going… leave early.  If you don’t already have a ticket… stay away.

The road leading from I-15 to the Golden Spike National Historic Park, S.R. 83, is a small, rural road that isn’t necessarily equipped for the high amount of traffic that’s going to happen on Friday.  Corey Coulam with UDOT says event organizers anticipate ten thousand visitors for the event.

He says, “I’d say we could easily see 2,500 to 3,000 vehicles,” adding, “There are bound to be issues just with that volume of people and that volume of traffic.”

The off-ramp from I-15 to S.R. 83 is reportedly such a tight turn, drivers are forced to slow down dramatically, which could cause long delays on I-15.

After Corrine, there are no services on S.R. 83, whatsoever.  There are no gas stations and no cell phone towers, so, if drivers aren’t prepared, they could be stuck on the road.

“It’s hard to say exactly how long the delays are going to be, but, there’s a potential there for people to be stuck with no cell phone service and, maybe, run out of gas,” Coulam says.

The Highway Patrol is hoping people have emergency supplies just in case a small issue leads to a much bigger one.

“They’re worried about people being prepared, of course.  They’re worried about traffic accidents because if you get one accident, the likelihood of getting another grows, significantly,” Coulam says.