KSL TRAFFIC

UDOT is updating freeway lines so they’re easier to see

Aug 14, 2023, 2:30 PM | Updated: 3:15 pm

(Adam Small/KSL NewsRadio)...

(Adam Small/KSL NewsRadio)

(Adam Small/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY— We’ve all been there. It’s raining or snowing, water is flying every which way. To make matters worse, it’s next to impossible to see the lines on the freeway.

Officials said this is the number-one complaint from drivers on Utah roads.

But that is about to change.

“You white-knuckle it, you hope the other drivers around you are safe,” said Utah Gov. Spencer Cox at a press conference Monday.

“We need to do better.”

UDOT’s plan

The Utah Department of Transportation has been looking into “contrast striping” for the last three years, and researching the new paintwork on I-84 near Tremonton for the last two.

Now, UDOT is almost done upgrading the lines on I-15 between Payson and Lehi.

“We rely on those lines on the road…[to] keep ourselves, our family and everyone else on the road safe,” said UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras.

Instead of just one four-inch white line, UDOT is painting a six-inch white line with a connecting black line, which helps create a contrast that’s easier to see on Utah’s light-colored freeway pavement.

Braceras said it’s not only easier for people to see but also for sensors on newer cars to detect when someone is getting too close to a car in the neighboring lane.

“It seems so simple, but it makes such a big difference,” Braceras said.

The Utah State Legislature recently approved $6 million a year for maintaining and upgrading lines on Utah’s major roads. This year, they approved an additional $20 million to get a lot done at once.

The new lines are under warranty for four years, which Braceras said is much more durable than the current ones.

Upgraded line work in Utah County is set to wrap up in September.

Additional projects on I-15, I-215, I-80 and SR-201 in Salt Lake, Davis, Tooele and Summit Counties are expected to begin in September.

“This is one of those areas…where people can see government at work in a way that is helping them lead better lives and happier lives and safer lives,” Cox said.

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UDOT is updating freeway lines so they’re easier to see