UDOT warns of delays on some Utah roads during busy Memorial Day weekend

May 26, 2023, 5:56 AM

Traffic moves on I-15 in Salt Lake City on May 18. Utah Department of Transportation engineers say ...

Traffic moves on I-15 in Salt Lake City on May 18. Utah Department of Transportation engineers say the state's longest congestion delays will be on Friday and Monday this holiday weekend. (Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Travel experts believe this Memorial Day weekend will be pretty busy.

AAA says about 42.3 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home at some point in the weekend, which marks the unofficial start of summer travel. If that happens, it would be a 7% increase from last year and roughly 500,000 off of pre-COVID-19 travel trends in 2019.

The forecast adds that nearly 90% of all travel will be done by automobile. And all that traffic could lead to some lengthy delays in Utah, especially at the start and end of the weekend, state transportation officials say.

Utah Department of Transportation engineers say the longest congestion delays are expected at:

  • Southbound I-15 in Salt Lake County: Delays of up to 20 minutes from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday
  • Southbound I-15 near Nephi: Delays of up to 10 minutes from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday
  • Northbound I-15 in Davis County: Delays of up to 10 minutes from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday
  • Westbound U.S. 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon: Delays of up to 20 minutes from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday
  • Northbound I-15 near Nephi: Delays of up to 15 minutes from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday

As always, the department will suspend construction during the weekend but there are some work zones and areas where ongoing projects could add to some travel delays this weekend.

  • I-15 in Davis County: Lanes are shifted in both directions of the freeway between Centerville and Farmington because of bridge and signage construction related to the West Davis Highway project.
  • I-70 near the Utah-Colorado border: An eight-mile section of one of the freeway’s westbound lanes is closed for repaving in Grand County.
  • I-80 and I-215 in eastern Salt Lake County: Lanes are shifted on I-80 from 1300 East and 2300 East, and split on I-215 from 3300 South and 4500 South as a part of a massive project that began in 2021.
  • U.S. 40 near Heber City: The highway’s eastbound lanes are reduced to one lane north of the city by Jordanelle Reservoir as crews replace a bridge’s driving surface in the areas. There could be some heavy truck traffic and travel delays Friday afternoon, too.

Anyone traveling back on Tuesday could run into delays on I-15 in Nephi, as well. UDOT says the freeway will be reduced to one lane in each direction for concrete pavement repairs beginning as early as Tuesday. All lanes will be open from Friday through Monday, though.

Utah gas prices index

For those driving in Utah, this weekend won’t be as burdensome at the pump as last year’s holiday. Regular gas in Utah costs about $4.08 per gallon, according to AAA prices updated on Thursday. That’s about 31 cents above prices last month but 3 cents cheaper than last week and 52 cents cheaper than at the same point last year.

The organization adds that prices are generally the cheapest in western Utah and more expensive in northeastern parts of the state, as of Thursday.

Where gas is the cheapest in Utah

  • Juab County: $3.90
  • Box Elder County: $3.91
  • Sevier County: $3.96
  • Tooele County: $3.98
  • Iron County: $3.99

Where gas is the most expensive in Utah

  • Rich County: $4.25
  • Wasatch County: $4.19
  • Wayne County: $4.19
  • Summit County: $4.17
  • Morgan County: $4.14

Utah’s price is still about 51 cents above the national average. For those traveling out of Utah, Mississippi has the cheapest cost of fuel at a tick under $3 per gallon, while California’s average of $4.81 is the most expensive heading into the weekend.

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UDOT warns of delays on some Utah roads during busy Memorial Day weekend