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JACKHAMMERS WILL RING LOUD ON UNIVERSITY AVENUE BEGINNING IN JULY

What would summer be like without University Avenue under construction? Provo residents won't find out any time soon.

The Utah Department of Transportation will begin reconstruction of University Avenue between 1230 North and 1650 North around July 25. Work will begin in the intersection at 1650 North (the diagonal), move to the intersection at 1230 North and work back toward 1650 North.Crews will replace the road with a concrete surface. The state will begin accepting bids at the end of June. Provo City plans to install new water and sewer lines through the area while the roadway is torn up. UDOT will complete the four-block-long project around Oct. 1.

UDOT planned to undertake the project next year but has funds available now, said Phil Huff, Orem, design engineer for District 6. Work on University Avenue from 1650 North to the mouth of Provo Canyon has been delayed until next year because of design and environmental concerns, Huff said.

UDOT officials explained project plans to property owners and business representatives this week. Stevenett's Malt Shop, First Security Bank, the Medical Center Complex, Utah Valley Community College's Provo Campus and the Riviera and Glenwood apartments are along the section of road to be rebuilt.

Only local traffic will be allowed in the construction area. UDOT plans to divert southbound traffic on University Avenue at the 2230 North intersection to 200 West (Freedom Boulevard). Northbound traffic on University Avenue will be diverted at 1230 North to Canyon Road and back to University Avenue at 2230 North.

Timing for the project couldn't be worse, said Dave Freeman, owner of Riviera and Glenwood apartments.

"This whole thing seems to be a half-cocked program," Freeman said. "It's really got me concerned."

Brigham Young University's school year will begin on Sept. 4. Both Freeman's apartments and First Security Bank are busy signing up student clients for the year at the end of August. Freeman said UDOT should talk to property owners while planning projects.

"If we drop 100 students, that is $100,000 we lose for the year," Freeman said. "I just hope UDOT understands the impact this has for us."

UDOT is working with the city to place signs in the construction area and create accesses to the businesses and apartment complexes, said Alan Meacham, preconstruction engineer for District 6.