I-15 Technology Corridor underway soon, slated for completion in 2020

Mar 27, 2018, 8:15 PM | Updated: 9:28 pm

LEHI — Motorists in Utah County are bracing for another long chapter of orange barrels and road construction on I-15. In the next few weeks, the Utah Department of Transportation starts work to expand the interstate between Lehi Main Street and SR 92, a project area called the I-15 Technology Corridor.

“It really is going to improve the quality of life for so many people down here,” said John Gleason, a UDOT spokesman. “They’ve been asking for it, and we’re excited to be able to deliver it.”

The UDOT project team met with business leaders Tuesday to tell them what their employees can expect during three years of construction. More than 150,000 cars travel on I-15 through Lehi on an average day.

Many of those motorists are workers headed in and out of Lehi, which is overdue for traffic relief.

“It’s frustrating because everybody else is frustrated around you,” said Emily Forsyth, who works at Younique Products, located north of Thanksgiving Point on the frontage road.

She commutes to Lehi from Sandy five days a week.

“It could be as short as 25 minutes,” she said of her daily drive. “But, it could also be as long as 45.”

She expects heavy traffic, even when she tries to sneak into work on the surface streets.

“It’s stop and go,” Forsyth said. “You’re stopping at lights. You’re stopping at stop signs. You’re stopping at traffic circles all the time.”

According to the city of Lehi, approximately 20,000 people commute in and out of Lehi for work every workday. When workers try to leave for the day, it’s not unusual to sit through several cycles of traffic lights as they make their way to the busy interstate.

Forsyth found out just today improvements are coming.

“I’m so excited, she said. “It’s really needed for this area.”

When work begins in the next few weeks, UDOT will widen I-15 from four to six lanes, from Lehi Main Street to SR 92.

“This is the last section of I-15 in Utah County that hasn’t been addressed, so you have a choke point during the evening in the morning commute,” said Gleason.

They will also reconstruct the SR 92 and 2100 North interchanges, and build a new bridge over I-15 at Triumph Boulevard. Both of those measures are designed to alleviate east-west traffic, and help traffic flow more freely onto the interstate.

UDOT will also create a one-way traffic pattern, including multi-use trails, on the frontage roads. Crews will also rebuild 17 bridges as part of the project.

“With the inconvenience that will surely come, we want them to know that there’s progress following it,” said Ron Harris with Young Living Essential Oils.

He’s excited to tell his co-workers about the upgrades as long as they can withstand the construction period, slated for completion by late 2020.

“I think it’ll just be tough,” said Brian Vermer, who works in public relations with IM Flash. “We’ve got to find some alternatives for the people to get through.”

During construction, UDOT plans to maintain five narrow lanes in each direction during peak times with a 60 mph speed limit. That’s more than the four lanes rolling through that zone today.

“Narrow lanes are going to cause some congestion, as well,” said Vermer.

Motorists can sign up on the UDOT project website to get text alerts on traffic conditions and email construction updates.

“Anything to get you through the construction,” said Gleason. “It’s going to be quite a bit better when this is all said and done.”

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I-15 Technology Corridor underway soon, slated for completion in 2020