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U.S. 6 Projects Proceed at Record Pace

Staff reporter

Crews work to complete a passing lane on U.S. 6 designed to keep slower traffic to the right on the uphill grade traveling toward Price from Sunnyside Junction. The passing lane is needed in the area because of large coal trucks running minutes apart 24 hours a day from the C Canyon mine. In addition to the passing lane, four projects are now in progress at various points along U.S. 6, prompting UDOT to advise travelers to be extremely careful when driving on the highway.

While four U.S. Highway 6 construction projects were in process last week, a fifth improvement effort has started under the direction of a new Utah Department of Transportation project engineer.

The UDOT engineer will oversee all U.S. 6 improvement projects between Spanish Fork and Green River. Planning for the next project continues, with a public hearing scheduled later in the week.

The four projects already underway include:

•Widening work that has been going on all summer between mile posts 195 and 198 north of the overpass crossover of the railroad tracks.

•The lane leveling/overlay work that is being completed from Wellington to Cat Canyon (mile posts 247-252).

•The addition of a passing lane north of Sunnyside Junction (mile posts 253-256).

•The lane leveling and overlay work being done from Icelander to Woodside (mile posts 263 to 288).

On Monday, construction crews began another overlay project from Colton to Helper - mile posts 215 to 232.

The roadway improvement work will reduce travel to one lane on the highway at times, with traffic alternating per flagmen.

With all the projects underway on U.S. Highway 6, UDOT has advised motorists that using Utah State Road 50 and Interstate 70 may provide a more convenient route for travelers.

Because of the unprecedented construction activity on the roadway, UDOT has appointed Mike Miles to manage all U.S. 6 projects.

Miles is charged with keeping the projects on schedule, under budget and within a defined scope of operations.

According to UDOT officials, the manager's priority will be to define the vision for the highway improvements that will be going on for the next five to seven years, projects that have already been programmed by the department of transportation.

Miles has been working for UDOT for seven years and has already been serving as the project manager for the Price to Wellington widening project and the Helper interchange endeavor.

Future projects the manager will oversee include not only the work in progress, but at least nine improvement efforts that are planned for a number of years. The planned projects include:

•A bridge replacement at milepost 190, with a cost of $2.5 million.

•Road safety improvements from Spanish Fork to Price, with a cost of $4.6 million.

•Asphalt pavement reconstruction at Red Narrows, with a cost of $5 million.

•Tucker rest area modifications, with a cost of $1.5 million.

•Addition of passing lanes at various places between Soldiers Summit and Helper, with a cost of $12 million.

•Widening the highway from Scofield o the junction of Emma Park Road and U.S. 6, with a cost of $13.1 million.

•Bridge rehabilitation at mile post 288 ($750,000).

•Widen and add passing lanes at various locations from Cat Canyon to Grassy Trail Creek ($2 million).

Motorists are urged to be very careful in or near construction zones currently set up along the road and to watch for slow moving or stopped traffic. Some of the projects, such as the one north of Tucker can have traffic stoppages up to five minutes while others, such as the project that began in Price Canyon on Monday could very well have delays of 20 minutes or more. Also in many areas trucks will be entering and leaving the highway.

UDOT also announced late last week that another official public hearing for the Helper Interchange will be held on August 15 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Sally Mauro Elementary School in Helper. They are inviting members of the community to visit this open house during that time frame and are asking for comments on the project. Presented at this open house is the environmental study on the project which defines the scope of the project, the alternatives, any potential environmental impact the project may have on the area, and the mitigation measures which might reduce any adverse impacts. Copies of the document on which comments will be taken are available at Helper's City Hall, the Helper Library, the Price City Library, Price City Hall, the Carbon County recorders office and at the Price District office of UDOT.

Officials from UDOT and from Stanley Consultants, the engineering firm working with the state agency will be at the meeting.

"We want anyone who has an interest in this project to come to the public hearing," said Myron Lee, public information officer for UDOT Region 4 last week. "Everyone's input is important as we near the end of the planning segment of this project."

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