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After years of delays and postponements, lighting on several interstate highway interchanges in Sevier, Millard and Iron counties will finally become a reality.

The Utah Department of Transportation has called for bids for the projects, with a June 18 deadline.Some 47 miles of other highways in Millard and Iron counties are also getting bituminous seal coating through the department's maintenance program.

Lighting is expected to be completed at the following Sevier County interchanges: at the north and south I-70 interchanges near Richfield; at Sevier Junction, Elsinore and Sigurd; and the west side of the Salina interchange.

Additional lighting projects are planned at interchanges near Scipio, Millard County, and Parowan in Iron County.

Federal Highway Administration regulations that require crash-tested light poles to be installed were blamed for the long delays by Sterling Davis, UDOT's district engineer in Richfield.

Local city and county officials had repeatedly confronted Davis regarding the long delays, with some sections of the interstate completed several years ago. The last section near Richfield was opened to traffic in 1989.

Davis said all plans for the lighting have now been completed. The contract will call for completion within 90 days after it is awarded by UDOT.

Contractors may submit bids to UDOT headquarters in Salt Lake City by 2 p.m. June 18. General contractors may also obtain a list of available minority contractors, suppliers and equipment lessors at that office.

Forms, plans and specifications may be reviewed by prospective bidders at district headquarters in Richfield, Price and Cedar City as well as the state offices.

Some 37,000 feet of PVS conduit, 24,000 channelizing devices and 66 light-pole assemblies will be required for the project.

Concern has also been voiced to Davis relative to milepost changes on I-70 between the Fremont Indian State Park and Salina in Sevier County. He told members of the Richfield City Council that the information was kept within UDOT as changes were made to correct a two-mile error in the mileposts.

Criticism has also been levied at changing interstate exit numbers to match new mileposts. Some business interests said their advertising reflects exit numbers that were later changed. Davis explained that the mileposts were placed before I-70 was completed and later were found to be in error when the highway was opened to traffic.

The council also discussed the difficulty in getting authorization to erect advertising billboards on I-70, Davis said commercial zoning in areas where signs are erected is required by the Federal Highway Administration. Some billboards along I-15 south of Nephi are reportedly illegal under FHA regulations.