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Why brake at I-15 site?

UDOT says Utah County jam is unnecessary

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PLEASANT GROVE — Why the traffic jam between Orem and American Fork?

Transportation officials say motorists taking a "brake" to check out construction work on the new I-15 interchange at Pleasant Grove are creating unnecessary traffic delays.

Jeff Dupaix, spokesman for Region 3 of the Utah Department of Transportation, said while it's good for people to be cautious, officials are somewhat surprised at the number of cars that brake as they pass through the area.

"We are kind of puzzled to understand it," he said, since all six traffic lanes are unobstructed by the construction work.

"There are three lanes open in both directions," Dupaix said. "People seem to be slowing down just to see what's going on, or maybe because there's a perception that there's a vision restriction. . . . We aren't working on the lanes. We're up above."

Currently, workers are building the center and side supports for the overpass and pulling off the top layers of soil known as the surcharge which has helped to compact the dirt beneath.

Dupaix said work is on schedule and completion is expected in September 2002.

"The good weather has helped," Dupaix said. "And if we can continue to work in the winter as we did on the University Parkway interchange, we'll be fine."

The new interchange, long anticipated by the communities of Pleasant Grove, Lindon, Cedar Hills and Highland, will provide more direct access to the north county cities and open up opportunities for commercial growth.

E-MAIL: haddoc@desnews.com