With warmer weather comes road construction. And summer 2002 is no exception. Highways at locations throughout Utah will be undergoing repair and improvement projects during the next several months, including the roads surrounding Carbon County.
The Utah Department of Transportation has issued a list of projects which will occur along U.S. Highway 6 during the summer. The repairs are intended improve problem areas and ensure driver safety.
UDOT cautions motorists that each construction project has a 20-minute delay attached, therefore drivers are urged to plan ahead for the related halts in traffic flow.
Currently, reconstruction is taking place between mile posts 195 and 198. Crews are making this section of road a five lane highway and the projects is expected to last until September. Repair costs are estimated at $14.5 million.
Construction is scheduled to begin the second week of July between mile posts 263 and 288, located from Cedar Ridge to Woodside.
Plans include reconstructing the road adding an overlay and chip seal to the final foundation. The repairs will ensure that the road withstand heavy traffic with little wear to the foundation.
The project will require that the section of U.S. Highway 6 that is under repair be limited to a single travel lane.
Pilot cars and flaggers will be present to aid in traffic control efforts. A 20-minute delay is expected for people traveling in both directions.
Starting around the first or second week in July, construction crews will start repair work on U.S. Highway 6 at the Sunnyside Junction. Between mile posts 253 and 256, a passing lane will be constructed. The $1.3 million project is scheduled to be completed by August.
Also beginning in early July, construction will be underway from mile posts 202 to 212 between Skyview and the White River.
The project will focus on chip sealing the road as well as adding a wet reflective pavement marking tape to allow drivers to see lines during storms.
A lane level overlay, chip and seal project is also scheduled to start in July between Colton and Helper. At the same time, repairs to U.S. Highway 6 from the golf course to the west Price area will also take place.
Officials indicated that UDOT is uncertain whether the projects will be completed this year or if part of the repairs will carry over to next summer.
The projects are scheduled to continue through September. But if the ground temperature falls lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit, construction will end.
In order to properly pave roadways, ground temperatures must be higher than 45 degrees. However, the temperature usually drops around September or October.
The stretch of U.S. Highway 6 between Wellington Main Street and Cat Canyon will also undergo repairs starting in August.
The repairs will include leveling and repaving the lanes between mile posts 247 ant 252.
Although UDOT plans to widen the stretch of road between Price and Wellington, the project will not begin until 2003
Utility relocation will take place this year, however, to prepare for the new highway addition.
Finally, for those who will be traveling on Interstate 70, construction is currently underway between mile posts 180 and 190, from Crescent Junction to Yellow Cat.
The improvements entail rebuilding all travel lanes, thus reducing traffic to one lane in each direction. The project is expected to continue through September.
UDOT ensured motorists that plans are currently underway for repairing several sections of U.S. Highway 6 and other roadways throughout southern Utah.
According to UDOT's public involvement coordinator Myron Lee, public involvement is essential in the process of determining which Utah roadways are in need of repair.
"There is a lengthy process involved in determining which projects will take place and when. Also funding has to be available, therefore UDOT prioritizes years in advance to ensure that funding is available for specific projects," explained Lee.
"The public must be aware that we are working on roads now, next year and in years to come to increase public safety. Motorists must be patient however," pointed out the transportation department representative.
With input from the public, UDOT vows to focus the appropriate attention to highway improvements that motorists feel are needed, added Lee.
The repairs currently taking place have been on the UDOT agenda for several years, pointed out the transportation department representative. Therefore, construction will not begin immediately to roadways which state and local residents feel need repairs. Scheduling repair work is a lengthy process, but the roads will be added to the construction project list in the near future.
With 20-minute delays expected at all of the construction projects, motorists will find that travel times will increase significantly.
Carbon County residents should schedule the waiting time when developing travel plans this summer.