Heavy traffic from people escaping early for the Memorial Day weekend combined with lane restrictions from ongoing construction are expected to cause significant delays on Friday and Monday on Interstate 15 along the Wasatch Front.
The Utah Department of Transportation estimates that delays on Friday could reach 40 minutes for drivers traveling on southbound I-15 through Salt Lake and Utah counties, and 30 minutes on northbound I-15 through Davis County.
Heavier than normal traffic is expected Friday between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the biggest delays during the evening commute.
On Monday, delays for return trips could reach 20 minutes on northbound I-15 between Nephi and Provo, and up to 10 minutes on U.S. 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, UDOT says. Congestion on Monday is expected around 2 p.m. through 8 p.m.
UDOT will suspend construction on most of its road projects during the holiday weekend and open all lanes to help reduce delays. However, it says existing lane restrictions and lane shifts will remain in place where needed to protect work zones and ensure safety.
For example, the agency says drivers should expect restrictions along I-15 in Lehi, and on Interstate 70 in Sevier County.
In Lehi, two southbound I-15 lanes will close near State Street from Friday at 11 p.m. to Saturday at 8 a.m. for bridge construction. Also, the northbound lanes there are split from 2100 North to State Road 92 and the speed limit is reduced to 60 mph. UDOT advises that drivers there should anticipate areas of rough or uneven pavement.
In Sevier County, I-70 is reduced to one lane in each direction just east of exit 7 near Cove Fort, with all traffic shifted into the westbound lanes. The speed limit there is reduced to 60 mph. UDOT says drivers should also plan for delays because of slow trucks climbing the hill there.
Updated information about delays and traffic conditions are available on UDOT’s traffic app for smartphones or online at udottraffic.utah.gov.
Utah is heading into what officials call the “100 deadliest days” of summer driving between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when road deaths typically increase by 50% because of increased traffic and more activity by bikers and pedestrians. UDOT says 94% of fatalities are caused by driver error — and urges more vigilance, especially during busy holiday weekends.