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Do you know when to travel to avoid delays this 4th of July weekend?

Weekend travelers join the traffic on I-15 near Point of the Mountain near Draper Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. Photo: Steve Griffin, Deseret News

UTAH — A long holiday weekend for the 4th of July will create delays on Utah’s roads at unusual times.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is expecting the most congestion on Thursday, July 2.  It will be between the hours of 3:30 p.m to 7 p.m. in Utah, Salt Lake and Davis counties.

On top of increased traffic, there are still construction zones in many parts of the Beehive State which could slow people down.

“All construction will stop and as many lanes as possible will be open through Sunday,” said John Gleason, spokesman for UDOT. “But lane restrictions will be in place in several areas to protect work zones and to keep drivers safe.” 

They include:

  • I-15 Express Lanes: Lanes are split in both directions on I-15 between Clearfield and Roy, with the far left lane shifted onto the opposite side of the freeway. Drivers should merge into the right lanes earlier than usual if exiting the freeway in Clearfield, Sunset, or Roy. 
  • I-15 in Box Elder County: I-15 is reduced to one lane in each direction near Tremonton, with all traffic shifted to the northbound lanes. Plan for heavier traffic this weekend and use caution when driving through the work zone. 
  • I-80 near Saltair/Lakepoint: Lanes are shifted and narrowed on I-80 between the S.R. 202 interchange and the S.R. 36 interchange, and the speed limit is reduced to 65 miles per hour. This is to add a new exit-only lane between the S.R. 201 Interchange and the S.R. 36 Interchange, and replace the I-80 bridges over the Union Pacific railroad tracks.
  • I-15 Technology Corridor: In Lehi, the speed limit on I-15 is reduced to 60 miles per hour from Main Street to S.R. 92. Drivers should be alert when traveling through the work zone and anticipate areas of rough or uneven pavement.
  • U.S. 40 Strawberry Valley: U.S. 40 will have one lane open in each direction through the construction zone from Daniels Summit to the Soldier Creek turnoff near Strawberry Reservoir. Speeds are reduced to 55 miles per hour, and barrels will remain in place. 

I-15 in Juab County starts a new phase of repaving 

If you aren’t returning home from holiday vacation plans until after Sunday, expect more lane restrictions on the above roads, as well as others.

The project between Yuba Lake Interchange and Scipio is halfway complete, so now work on the northbound lanes begins on Monday, July 6.  Northbound I-15 will be down to one lane Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the next few weeks. 

All southbound lanes are expected to re-open in Juab County, just in time to reduce delays for the 4th of July weekend.  But drivers coming back from Las Vegas, St. George or Cedar City into northern Utah after Sunday should allow extra time on their commute.  

“We are almost back to normal traffic capacity on our roads.  And now we’re adding more cars for the holiday weekend,” said Gleason.  “We need everyone to reduce their speeds in the construction zones for safety.”

Utah is also in the midst of its typical 100 deadliest days on the highways.  Gleason said UDOT is striving for Zero Fatalities this weekend and needs everyone to do something to improve their driving skills.

 “It can be buckling up or making the commitment to putting your phone away while behind the wheel.  Just do one thing better.”