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Traffic From I-80 Closure Spills Over To I-84, Provo Canyon

PROVO, Utah – Police and firefighters closed Interstate 80 because of the Parley’s Fire, causing agonizing traffic delays in Provo Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon and along I-84.

You can always expect to see more traffic on Fridays, and I-80’s closure in Parleys Canyon spread that traffic across the Wasatch Front. 

“It’s pretty busy,” said Zoiee Schuyler. 

Schuyler works at the Will’s Canyon Stop gas station at the mouth of Provo Canyon and noticed more business than usual. 

“I feel like there have been a few people who have mentioned the fire,” she said. 

That fire was the reason for all the extra traffic. 

I-80 through Parley’s Canyon was closed until Friday night because firefighters, on the ground and in the air, were trying to put the blaze out along the interstate. 

That meant detours for regular traffic; U.S. 189 through Provo Canyon in the south and I-84 through Weber Canyon in the north. 

Travel through both areas took at least an extra hour. 

“It’s crazy right now,” said Helene Harding. “It’s going to be a long day.” 

Harding, who lives in Park City, was trying to get to the airport to pick up her friend. 

It’s a trip that normally takes about 40 minutes. 

“But because I ended up going to Guardsman Pass, that added an hour, so, two and a half to a three-hour drive to the airport today,” she said with a laugh. 

Guardsman Pass quickly filled up because an 18-wheeler driver tried using it as a shortcut. 

The truck ended up jackknifed because the switchbacks were too tight for a truck that size to get around. 

Utah Department of Transportation crews had to close the pass to get the truck out. 

Businesses in Morgan were also busy as drivers north of Parleys made their way through town on I-84. 

“Oh yeah, it’s been pretty gnarly today,” said Morgan Stought, who works at the 7-Eleven off the main Morgan exit. “At least five or six people have told me how Parleys is closed and they have to come through here, so it’s pretty inconvenient for them, I guess.” 

Just before 5 p.m., UDOT was able to reopen I-80 in Parleys Canyon, though the interstate may have to close again if flames get too close.

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