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Provo public works preparing for start of construction season

By Genelle Pugmire - | Jan 29, 2023

Courtesy Provo City

Thirteen road projects are planned for Provo in the spring and summer.

Not found on a traditional calendar, Provo residents are getting ready for the all-to-familiar fifth season — construction season. According to the city’s public works department, it’s most easily identified by orange barrels and cone barriers.

“Construction season is often despised and dreaded,” said Dave Decker, Public Works director. “However, I would like to argue that construction season should also be appreciated.”

While construction season causes frustration, residents need to realize what it means when they see those orange cones on the road.

“It means that Provo is doing well. It is proof that the economy is doing better. It is the promise of better roads, new updated infrastructure, and new buildings. It is a sign that people are noticing Provo and wanting to move here,” Decker said.

City administrators are aware of the inconvenience it places on people’s lives and are grateful for resident’s patience and adaptability. While working to decrease frustration among the city’s drivers, construction can only be completed during certain times due to number of projects, availability of machinery and coordination between developers.

Many of the workers who will handle potholes, asphalt and other road projects are the ones currently keeping the roads cleared of snow and ice.

Provo City has plans to complete over 13 projects this construction season. In order to complete all of these projects, public works has will to start as early as possible, according to Decker.

In order to give contractors some leeway, contracts are usually given with a timeframe for the completion of a project. However, the actual start date is left to the discretion of the contractor.

The Center Street Pavement Preservation project, for one, will begin in the spring or early summer with a completion date of Aug. 31.

Not only does the city strive to coordinate the construction between city departments, but also coordinates between state and private developers like the Utah Department of Transportation which will be working on the Center Street project.

If a street already has planned construction, other updates and replacements to needed utility structures are completed. The city is continuously looking for ways to increase coordination to save time and money, according to Decker.

Because early 2023 has alternated between wet, cold days and warm days, potholes are more prevalent and need to be filled. Moisture and temperature play a huge role in the timing of construction. For example asphalt can’t be laid unless it is 50 degrees or warmer.

The streets maintenance section of public works is responsible for maintaining 650 lane miles of city-owned road through filling potholes, street sweeping and snow removal during the winter months. Streets personnel also handle street painting, along with the maintenance of approximately 10,000 street signs throughout the city.


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