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New I-80 exit lane looks to ease bad accident delays for Tooele County

A section of land looking south east at 7200 west and I-80 that is part of the proposed Utah Inland Port in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 16, 2018. Gov. Gary R. Herbert was joined by legislative and local elected leaders to discuss consensus recommendations for the Utah Inland Port during press conference at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 16, 2018. (James Wooldridge, Deseret News)

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah–It’s a thing, hopefully in the past, for Tooele County commuters: Nightmare delays plaguing the westbound stretch of I-80 between S.R. 201 and S.R. 36 when crashes happen. 

NOWHERE TO GO, NOWHERE TO TURN

Brady Haws from Stansbury Park says it’s awful. “I would leave work 430/5 o’clock trying to beat rush hour and then there would be an accident.   What would (normally) take 15 minutes to get to (the exit to route 36) would be a 2-hour wait in line.  Nowhere to turn around, nowhere to go.  Waiting FOR-EVER to get off at that exit.”  

UDOT has responded to that kind of complaint.  They just finished a new exit-only lane on the westbound side in between the two state roads to ease congestion.  It opens tomorrow.  John Gleason with UDOT says, “When there is a crash, it will allow our crews to clear that crash much faster.  And (the additional lane) will allow cars to move around that crash.”  Also, Gleason thinks it’s going to improve traffic flow in that area that is growing so fast. 

NEW LANE SHOULD CUT DELAYS

Gleason says it depends but, the wait time when there is an accident around there is can be about an hour, or longer.  Gleason thinks this new exit will hack that time drastically.  “We anticipate the extra lane will cut down on that wait time by about 5 times in those extreme situations.”

I-80 EXIT OPEN 6 MONTHS BEFORE SCHEDULE

The extra lane project was supposed to be complete by next Spring, but they finished 6 months early.  Gleason says this is because they got the materials needed for construction sooner than expected.  Brady Haws is happy to hear it.  “I think it will be a great addition to the freeway there.  I hope it appeases the ‘one-road in, one road out’ (situation.)”

 

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