Labor Day weekend travel: What to know before you go

Sep 3, 2021, 7:14 AM | Updated: 11:50 am
gridlock point mountain 4th of july delays utah roads...
FILE: Weekend travelers join the traffic on I-15 near Point of the Mountain near Draper Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. Photo: Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — No matter which way you’re headed for the Labor Day holiday weekend, you may want to pack some medication for your impending travel headaches. 

Labor Day weekend travel headaches start today

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) believes the worst time for Labor Day weekend travel through Davis County will be Friday, Sept. 3. Specifically, drivers going north between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. can expect heavy traffic and delays.

For those driving south through Salt Lake County, UDOT predicts the most congested travel times will be between 2 and 8 p.m. on Friday.  And several National Parks say their campgrounds are already full.  So if you don’t have a reservation and plan to camp, you may be out of luck.

Drivers in Summit County will see the worst Labor Day weekend travel on I-80 between the US 40 Junction and the mouth of Parleys Canyon on Monday, Sept. 6.  That’s when drivers will return to the Salt Lake Valley — mostly from 1 to 8 p.m.

The good news is most construction projects are on hold in anticipation of Labor Day weekend travel needs, but lane restrictions and traffic shifts, which are already in place, will remain. However, UDOT advises drivers to prepare for traffic delays in work zones.

Some areas where restrictions are in place

I-15 near Clearfield – All lanes are open on I-15 near Clearfield, but lane splits are in place in both directions to allow crews to work in the median of the freeway.  The speed limit is reduced to 60 miles per hour in this work zone.

Crews are also widening I-15 in both directions so the Express Lanes can be extended between Layton and Riverdale. 

U.S. 89 in Davis County has a different configuration between Cherry Lane in Layton and 200 North in Kaysville.  The lanes are shifted and speed limit is down to 55 mph.

S.R. 39 in Ogden Canyon  is reduced to one lane, with alternating traffic. A temporary signal near the bridge between Ogden and Pineview Reservoir controls the traffic. Drivers should plan for delays of 15 minutes or more. 

*S.R. 95 Cottonwood Wash Bridge – is the primary route to upper Lake Powell from eastern Utah.  It remains closed from the junction of U.S. 191 to S.R. 261.  UDOT recommends using I-70 to S.R. 24 through Hanksville as an alternate. 

*However, this recommendation was given before Hanksville had severe flooding in this week’s thunderstorms.  You may need to find other ways to get to Lake Powell from eastern Utah if you are still planning a trip there.

What about the return trip home?

On Monday, UDOT expects delays on I-15 southbound in Davis County to be up to 10 minutes, especially between 3 and 7 p.m.  Northbound I-15 is also expected to be extra congested during the same time period in Nephi.

U.S. 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon is expected to have its worst traffic heading west on Monday from 1 to 8pm. The same applies to westbound I-80 in Summit County.

Above all, both UDOT and the Utah Highway Patrol are asking drivers to take along a big dose of patience and not to drink and drive this holiday weekend.

Need real time updates for Labor Day weekend travel? Tune to KSL NewsRadio or get the app to listen live on the go

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Labor Day weekend travel: What to know before you go