A new lane to help relieve a chokepoint that often causes delays on Interstate 80 in Tooele County will open Wednesday — six months early.
The Utah Department of Transportation said the new 2-mile-long auxiliary lane between State Road 201 and SR-36 will provide additional space for traffic entering and leaving the freeway, improve traffic flow and reduce delays.
It said the project is being completed early because material became available sooner than expected.
“Tooele County is growing fast, and this area is a chokepoint, where a small crash can cause major delays,” said Oanh Le-Spradlin, UDOT project manager. “Our goal is to provide a smoother, safer trip for drivers, so we wanted to get this lane opened as quickly as possible.”
Tooele County Commissioner Tom Tripp said, “When something bad goes on on I-80, there is a tremendous backup and a lot of people are inconvenienced. This project in particular is designed to minimize that problem. The estimated improvement is about 80 percent. If you were going to have a 15 minute wait now you’re going to have a two- to three-minute wait.”
The project reduced environmental impact by crushing more than 3,600 cubic yards of old concrete and used the material to build the new lane.
Construction forced the closure of a former view area along westbound I-80, but the project partnered with the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and other organizations to move two historical markers previously located there to a new site near Saltair.