I-80 is closed in Salt Lake City this weekend. What does ‘Shrek in the Sky’ have to do with it?

UDOT used the TikTok filter to remind residents it’s replacing the 1700 East bridge this weekend.

(Utah Department of Transportation via TikTok) The Utah Department of Transportation used the "Shrek in the Sky" filter on a TikTok video to announce the weekend closure of Interstate 80 in Salt Lake City.

To make people aware that Interstate 80 is shutting down in Salt Lake City this weekend, the Utah Department of Transportation employed a svelte Shrek dancing in a TikTok video this week.

It doesn’t make much sense, but it does seem to be getting the word out. UDOT’s first version of the video was viewed more than 1.3 million times. “This is the ONLY way to communicate highway closures,” one person posted on Reddit.

“I kind of wish all benign government announcements were done like this,” wrote another.


It was brought to our attention that the Shrek video had an offensive lyric that we were not aware of, so now we present a whole new backtrack. I-80 is still closed this weekend. #udot #utah #utahcheck #saltlakecity

♬ original sound - Guy McLachlan

The more mundane part of the announcement is that crews will demolish the existing bridge at 1700 East and slide a new one, which has been constructed next to the original, into place. That will force the closure of I-80 in both directions between 700 East and Foothill Drive.

The closure begins Friday at 9 p.m., and drivers are advised to use I-15 and I-215 as alternate routes to avoid heavy traffic delays. I-80 is scheduled to reopen on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The weirder part of this announcement is the TikTok itself, which features a “Shrek in the Sky” rising up and dancing behind a video of traffic traveling beneath the new 1700 East bridge.

(Utah Department of Transportation) Interstate 80 between 700 East and Foothill Drive will close down at 9 p.m. on Friday for a bridge replacement.

What is a “Shrek in the Sky”? It’s a filter for the video platform that includes the animated head of green ogre Shrek — who first appeared in a 2001 animated hit movie and has since recurred in three movie sequels and some TV specials — attached to a feminine body in a shiny, black catsuit.

It’s not original to UDOT. The filter, created by TikToker Maxim Kuzlin, allows users to add “Shrek in the Sky” to their videos. And it’s been used by TikTokers around the globe.

But it’s a first for UDOT. Sort of a second, because “after it was brought to [their] attention” that there was an offensive lyric in the first audio track — a mashup of “Macarena” and “Material Girl” — staffers took the video down and replaced it with one that features a mashup of “Macarena” and “Oops! I Did It Again.”

Still, the second iteration is not just reaching Utahns, but people all over the world.

“I’m in Melbourne, Australia,” one TikTok user wrote. “Never been to Utah. Appreciate the update!”