SALT LAKE CITY — No matter which way you’re headed for the Labor Day holiday weekend, you may want to pack some medication for your impending travel headaches.
Labor Day weekend travel headaches start today
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) believes the worst time for Labor Day weekend travel through Davis County will be Thursday, Sept. 3. Specifically, drivers going north between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. can expect heavy traffic and delays.
For those driving through Salt Lake County, UDOT predicts the most congested travel times will be between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4, both northbound and southbound on I-15.
Drivers in Summit County will see the worst Labor Day weekend travel on Monday, Sept. 7. That’s when drivers will return to the Salt Lake Valley via westbound I-80 — mostly from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The good news is most construction projects will be on hold during the Labor Day weekend, but lane restrictions and traffic shifts, which are already in place, will remain. However, UDOT advises drivers to prepare for traffic delays in work zones.
Some areas where restrictions are in place
I-15 is reduced to one lane in each direction near Tremonton in Box Elder County. All traffic shifts to the northbound lanes.
The Express lanes are split in both directions on I-15 between Clearfield and Roy in Davis County. Drivers should merge into the right lanes earlier than usual if exiting the freeway in Clearfield, Sunset, or Roy.
Also in Davis County, lanes are shifted on U.S. 89 from Cherry Lane in Layton to 200 North in Kaysville. The speed limit is also reduced to 55 mph.
The I-15 Technology Corridor in Lehi has a reduced speed limit of 60 mph from S.R. 92 to Main Street in both directions. And there are multiple lane shifts and splits.
In Tooele County, lanes are shifted and narrowed on I-80 between the S.R. 202 interchange and the S.R. 36 interchange. This is between Salt Air and Lakepoint.
Increased patrols for speeders and drunk drivers
The Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) is adding 205 extra shifts to their normal patrols this weekend. They’re looking for speeders and drunk drivers.
“There have been 92 deaths on Utah’s roads since Memorial Day weekend up to today,” Lt. Nick Street said. “In 2019 there were only 61 in the same time period.”
Street attributes the increased number of deaths to the increased number of drivers speeding, many of whom did not wear seat belts.
“We’ve seen a big increase in drivers going over 100 miles per hour. Especially in Juab, Beaver, Box Elder, Washington and Tooele Counties,” said Street. “And we’ve seen too many fatalities where people weren’t wearing seat belts.”
Street said he wants to rename Utah’s 100 Deadliest Days — the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day — to the 100 Safest Days, to encourage all drivers to do their part.
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