Southbound drivers on I-15 through the North Salt Lake construction area have to make a decision early whether they're going to the airport or on into the city.

Construction crews diverted and split the southbound lanes, creating one two-lane barricaded express route that connects through to Salt Lake City and a one-lane route connecting to I-215 and the Salt Lake International Airport.The routes split about a mile north of the interchange and once committed, drivers cannot change lanes. It's a repeat of a concept that was used two years ago through Farmington and Centerville when crews were doing concrete rehabilitation work on the freeway there.

The rerouting was done over the weekend and will last through the summer, according to UDOT Region II project team member Carlos Braceras. The construction work is expected to run through the end of this year.

Crews are adding an auxiliary lane to I-15 in each direction from the I-215 interchange to 2600 South in Woods Cross. The new outside lane in each direction will aid merging and exiting traffic, Braceras said.

UDOT committed to keeping three lanes open in each direction during the work, according to project team member Dan Nelson.

"It's working as good or better than we expected," Nelson said. "People expected huge delays through there, but traffic is moving better than we expected."

Nelson said locals two years ago quickly got used to the barricaded express lanes.

"There was some confusion at first, and drivers unfamiliar with the area get a little confused. But the concept worked well," he said.