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Orem 800 North exit on I-15 to close this weekend

By Michael Rigert - Daily Herald - | Jun 23, 2009

OREM — Preparing for a picnic, camping trip or visit to Sundance Resort up Provo Canyon this weekend? Don’t plan on using the 800 North exit of Interstate 15 to get to the canyon; it will be closed late Friday night through early Monday morning.

Ramps on and off I-15 at 800 North and the underpass will be closed this weekend as crews position large equipment and dig trenches in order to install Orem city water and sewer lines, said Chris Tschirki, water resources division manager for the city.

The interchange and road closure will begin at 10 p.m. on Friday and end on Monday at 6 a.m. Transportation officials are asking motorists to use the 1600 North or Center Street exits from I-15, and Geneva Road, 1200 West, 800 West or State Street as alternate routes.

“The closure may be inconvenient for those two days,” but maintaining two open lanes under the freeway at 800 North during the utility work “would take longer and be a decrease in the safety of the public,” Tschirki said.

Condie Construction, the contractor for the project, will be running 16-inch water and 12-inch pressurized irrigation lines under the freeway as part of the city’s master plan, he said. The sewer line will divert some flow capacity from Lindon off the Geneva Road sewer line.

On a single day in 2006, approximately 31,000 vehicles used the 800 North freeway interchange, not including east and west traffic that may have used the underpass and not entered I-15, said Scott Thompson, Utah Department of Transportation’s Region 3 spokesman.

Those using 800 North in Orem in recent months may also have observed some large-diameter water-line sections being installed along the street’s north shoulder. It’s part of Central Utah Water Conservancy District’s Orem aqueduct, a $3.4 million project launched this spring that will deliver water to buyers in northern Utah County and Salt Lake County.

Chris Finlinson, government affairs director with Central Utah Water Conservancy District, is anticipating another similar weekend closure of 800 North at I-15 closer to August when crews begin to install the 36-inch water line under the freeway.

Thompson said a UDOT project in the vicinity of 800 North in Orem involves efforts started last summer to install fiber-optic lines for electronic message boards for motorists on the Orem and Heber ends of Provo Canyon.

“We’ll have a board up on either end of the canyon so if you’re coming up 800 North or coming from Provo, and there’s a big storm or accident, you’ll know that before you get in the canyon,” he said.

Few traffic interruptions along 800 North and in the canyon along U.S. Highway 189 would result from the UDOT project, Thompson said. The construction is anticipated to be completed later this summer.

A major $63 million UDOT project to widen 800 North to three lanes in each direction was completed last year.


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