The closure of Center Street and 500 West in Provo will continue until mid-August to allow construction crews to install a new storm drain system and pave the road with concrete.
According to Utah Department of Transportation communications manager Geoff Dupaix, the west side of the intersection closed July 18 and is anticipated to reopen in mid-August. Dupaix said UDOT recognizes the closure is inconvenient but necessary to rebuild the section of the road.
“It’s also an ideal time to do this, because Provo City had just wrapped up their Freedom Festival and the Stadium of Fire events over the July 4 weekend,” Dupaix said. “We don’t have as many big events that are happening in that area until school begins, which is right there around that mid-August timeframe.”
Dupaix said the storm drains currently in place are decades old and need to be upgraded and replaced. The new drain system will be capable of handling additional water flow. Additionally, the asphalt pavement will be replaced with more durable concrete pavement.
“We’re projecting that this pavement service could last up to 50 years so long as it’s maintained properly,” Dupaix said. “It’s a really good investment.”
Crews are currently in the process of removing all the pavement, curb and gutter on the west side of Center Street and 500 West to install the new drain system. Once the intersection is complete, along with the half of 500 West that is currently under construction, the construction will switch to the other side of the road.
“We have that half of the road opened up, so that’s allowed us to install a lot of the new storm drain. It’s allowed Provo City to install and upgrade their water and sewer lines,” Dupaix said.
According to Dupaix, traffic on the west side of the 500 North and Center Street intersection is detoured through 600 West and 100 North. The detour goes behind the Fresh Market on the corner of 500 West and Center Street. UDOT has installed an additional turn lane and modified signals to accommodate for the increased traffic through the detour.
“So if you’re heading to the south, you’ll take 600 West south along the west edge of the park and down to 200 South or 300 South for residents, depending on what they’re needing access to,” Dupaix said.
Despite the construction, Dupaix emphasized that businesses on 500 West remain open. Drivers can still use the road, he said, but may need to allow themselves a bit more time as there is currently only one lane in each direction.
The intersection closure is just one phase of the two-year 500 West construction project that began in April and will continue until 2020. According to UDOT’s website, the goal of the project is to “upgrade aging infrastructure, provide better south-north connectivity and improve the traffic flow, enhance safety for both pedestrians and bikers, improve active transportation options and improve drainage.”
A detailed breakdown of the construction work and anticipated project dates are available on UDOT’s website.
Construction crews hit a gas line during excavations last Thursday, leading to evacuations in nearby homes. Dupaix said UDOT has shut down the excavation work so energy crews can make the necessary repairs.
“We are also going to be reevaluating that excavation and installation process with the contractor to make sure that things are done safely and to minimize the risk of this ever happening again,” Dupaix said.
Dupaix said that, despite some setbacks and a very wet spring, the project is proceeding as planned and is expected to be completed on time. The contracted construction end date is July 2020.