By Michael Koberlein
Nighttime traveling to Park City just got harder thanks to a Utah Department of Transportation two-year road-widening project.
The $55 million project will double a two-lane section of U.S. Highway 189, the road that travels through Provo Canyon to Park City, to a four-lane divided highway. Also, the road will be moved farther from Provo River, and a bridge will be built over the spillway to eliminate sharp curves along the mountainside.
The 4.5 mile section between the Deer Creek Dam and Deer Creek State Park will be blocked from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday every week for the next two years.
If someone is in Park City after 10 p.m., the only alternative to get to Provo is take Interstate 80 westbound then to Interstate 15 southbound ? a detour that is about two hours travel one way.
UDOT closed the roads due to potential of rock falling and hitting the road, said UDOT Region Spokesperson Geoff Dupaix.
?That?s a risk we don?t want to subject motorists to,? Dupaix said.
However, Dupaix said the contractor?s goal is to open up one lane of travel in two months.
?We recognize that it?s going to be very difficult for those who work swing shifts or graveyards,? he said. ?We also know that there are students and professors that use that route [for night classes].?
Dupaix said motorists should plan ahead so they are prepared for the changes.
UDOT has provided a variety of ways to remind and update motorists about the construction. Electronic message signs are located between Orem and Pleasant Grove, South Provo, University Avenue in Provo and 800 North in Orem.
Angela Linford, public information manager for UDOT, said she sends out weekly e-mails for those that want updates.
?The people that received the e-mails and brochures are…local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and the Visitor?s Bureau,? she said. ?They are also forwarding it to their constituents.?
Linford said those who would like near weekly updates via e-mail should go to the project Web site, www.udot.utah.gov/provo-canyon, click on the link ?Receive Project Updates,? and fill out the requested information form.
UDOT is also setting up a highway advisory radio which will have highway information provided.
?We haven?t got the radios tested yet but that is something that we?re working on right now, Dupaix said.?
Another source for updates is the information hotline, 1-888-517-8401.