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Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

Road construction on hold, but traffic delays still possible during holiday

By Mary Richards, Deseret News

Published: Thu, July 3 6:45 p.m. MDT

(Ravell Call, Deseret News Archives)

SALT LAKE CITY — The three-day holiday weekend means thousands of people will hit the roads.

The Utah Department of Transportation has said it will put construction on hold, but there is still potential for delays because of lane restrictions, and orange cones and barrels will stay where they are.

Adan Carrillo, regional communications director for UDOT, said drivers will notice the impact on major projects like I-15 through Davis County.

"The lanes have also been reduced to allow for some of the work that's going on. We're replacing bridges and adding some new surface to that section of I-15," Carrillo said.

Carrillo recommends taking Legacy Parkway instead.

For drivers on I-80, traffic will be restricted to one lane eastbound from Wyoming.

Carrillo said the heaviest traffic is expected Sunday afternoon and evening. He advises trying to return after that or on Saturday if possible to avoid the worst of the delays.

"If they can even stay an extra day, or an extra couple days, then that'll be even easier for them to enjoy their vacation and avoid the delays on Sunday evening,” Carrillo said.

The Utah Highway Patrol wants everyone to arrive at their destination and back safely.

“We are putting 100 additional troopers on the road this weekend,” UHP Maj. Michael Rapich said.

He the highway patrol has investigated 62 deaths so far this year, compared to 47 last year.

"That's just on the freeways … statewide we are up to 109 (traffic deaths) compared to 89 last year," he said. And he believes about half of those deaths could have been prevented if the person was wearing a seat belt.

"Just barely under 60 percent of them were not wearing their seat belts," Rapich said.

Contributing: Haley Smith

Email: mrichards@deseretnews.com

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