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Not everyone is happy with newly rebuilt I-15

But generally, project is viewed favorably

SHARE Not everyone is happy with newly rebuilt I-15

There will be no more overnight or weekend closures on the I-15 reconstruction corridor, state lawmakers were promised Wednesday.

But that doesn't mean everyone is happy about the $1.59 billion project, which will be officially wrapped up sometime in September.

Rep. Gerry Adair, R-Roy, said some of the approaches from the freeway to its bridges are uneven, rough and potentially dangerous. His complaints led the Transportation Interim Committee to request a full report on the settlement and status of all bridge approaches on I-15.

A recent Deseret News/KSL opinion poll found that 28 percent of Utahns who have driven the new freeway feel the signs on the freeway do not adequately identify exits, lane changes and other freeway movements. Sixty-nine percent said the signs work well.

UDOT already has taken steps to clarify freeway instructions. For example, it has purchased a $100,000 sign to clarify movements at the westbound I-80 interchange with I-15 and U-201.

The poll, conducted in late June by Dan Jones and Associates, also found that 48 percent of Utahns who had driven the freeway found it less crowded than expected. Thirty-eight percent said the congestion was about what they anticipated. Eleven percent said it was more crowded and congested than they thought it would be.

The Utah Department of Transportation is happy with the work — so much so that it elected not to pick up a $27 million warranty option with its lead contractor, Wasatch Constructors.

John Bourne, UDOT's I-15 project manager, told lawmakers the work Wasatch turned in is solid and the construction consortium would essentially collect the $27 million without doing a thing, if UDOT had exercised that option.

"I'm here to tell you today I'm not going to ask for any additional dollars," Bourne told the committee, saying the project likely would come in under budget by about $1 million or more.

"We're getting a lot of criticism on the project regarding debris accumulating on the side of the road. The region (UDOT's region Two, which covers Salt Lake County) is going to have to step up and do additional sweepings to keep the road clean."


E-mail: zman@desnews.com