UDOT extends Parleys construction one night, eastbound I-80 to close Thurs.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Utah Department of Transportation has extended construction one more night. They have switched the schedule a bit. Wednesday night westbound lanes will close again from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

On Thursday eastbound lanes will close during the same time.

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PARLEY’S SUMMIT (News4Utah) -The Utah Department of Transportation is hoping that a temporary headache for drivers will pay off with fewer vehicles hitting animals in Parleys Canyon.

UDOT is closing westbound Interstate 80 from 8 p.m. Tuesday night to 6 a.m. Wednesday morning to construct a wildlife overpass bridge to make that area safer for motorists and animals.


Krachel Murdock, the Community and Public Affairs Director for Summit County, says it’s been a problem for commuters and visitors.

“The deer, the elk, the moose are huge and we have many moose sightings year round,” Murdock said. “The last thing that you want to encounter out there is a moose that’s taking his time crossing the road because if that happens, you’re not going to probably win.”

In the past two years, 98 deer, three moose, two elk and a cougar have been struck and killed along this stretch. Now they’ll have a direct way to cross over the Interstate, even though they’re not good at obeying signs.

“A lot of people will ask us ‘How do the animals know to cross here?’,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason said. “They’re really not going to have the opportunity to cross on many of the other locations because of the wildlife fencing. That’s going to direct them to this specific location where they can safely cross and not be out in traffic.

Salt Lake City bound drivers will have to take a long detour between during the closure, either taking Interstate 84 to Ogden and down or Highway 40 south to Highway 189 through Provo Canyon to Orem and back up.

“Those alternatives will add significant travel time. Up to 90 more minutes if you live in Park City,” Gleason said. “So your best bet is just to avoid traveling through Parley’s Canyon. Travel before 8 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday night or leave after 6 am in the morning. “

UDOT will reopen all lanes at 6 am Wednesday. Then Wednesday night the eastbound lanes will close at 8 p.m. until 6 o’clock Thursday morning.

 

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