Construction on a segment of State Street between Provo and Orem is about a week ahead of schedule, Utah Department of Transportation officials report.
Crews have been pouring about 1,000 cubic yards of concrete, equal to about 600 feet of paved roadway, each day, said Marv Christiansen, UDOT project engineer.The project is scheduled for completion by June 15, and traffic could be on a portion of the newly paved road by early May.
UDOT engineers say the east side of the street, from about 18th South in Orem to Carterville Road in Provo, should be paved by the end of April.
Traffic will be allowed onto the newly paved east section as soon as the new concrete cures sufficiently, probably in early May. Crews will then begin pouring concrete for the west section of the road.
When complete, the new segment will have three lanes of traffic each way separated by a painted median. The new design should provide better traffic flow, improved safety and easier access to local businesses, UDOT officials say.
To lessen the negative economic impact of the project on businesses along the strip of State Street being rebuilt, UDOT officials say they've allowed the contractor 75 working days to finish construction instead of the 180 working days that would normally be allowed for a project this size.
In addition, quick-drying paving techniques are being used and signs have been placed to alert customers that access routes to some businesses have been temporarily relocated because of the construction.
UDOT has been meeting regularly with business owners to answer questions and try to iron out problems caused by the construction. But business owners have complained about the dust, traffic problems and business slowdown the construction has caused.
Some owners have said the project makes access to their businesses so difficult that sales have dropped by as much as 50 percent since construction began. A number of owners have accused UDOT of poor planning and of not caring about local business.