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I-15 construction
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10-year expansion of I-15 “Tech Corridor” essentially complete

(I-15 in Lehi. Credit: Paul Nelson)

LEHI, Utah — After nearly 10 years of construction, traffic restrictions and hard-to-see lane markers, UDOT officials say the construction projects on the I-15 “Tech Corridor” are essentially finished.  Drivers now have six wide-open lanes of traffic in both directions.

It’s a day many drivers say they never expected to see: The end of highway construction on I-15 through Lehi.  Over the years, the Utah Department of Transportation has upgraded the off-ramps at Timpanogos Highway and 2100 North, built a new frontage road and installed 17 new bridges.  They’ve also replaced aging infrastructure with materials expected to last another 40 years.

Construction has been present on I-15 in Utah County in one form or another since 1997, as the state was getting ready to host the 2002 Winter Olympics.  Despite all those upgrades, UDOT Spokesman John Gleason said traffic through Lehi was a nightmare at times because of one portion of the road had fewer lanes than other parts of the freeway.

“You would have this bottleneck every evening commute where you would go from six lanes to four lanes,” Gleason said. “It would really snarl traffic.”

With that finished, Gleason said the drive should take half as long as it used to.

“If you had a 14-minute commute prior to construction, it will now be seven minutes,” he said.

Some drivers told KSL they could see a difference in how smoothly the traffic flowed.  One woman said it was “interesting” not to have any delays getting off at S.R. 92 to go to the outlet stores.

“It was very nice to have a lot of the construction removed,” she said.

However, others who live nearby reported doubts that construction will ever truly be “over.”  One woman said there has been so much growth in Lehi over the past couple of decades, she is certain UDOT will have to plan more projects to keep up with demand.

“We’re just going to be in a really big waiting period,” she said. “I kind of wish that we went two lanes wider on each side so we don’t have to go through this again in ten years.”

Construction crews still have some finishing touches they need to make through the “Tech Corridor,” so there will be some temporary lane restrictions while crews finish things like landscaping and installing traffic cameras.