PROVO, Utah (ABC4) — Heeding feedback from the public, Provo City is set to begin construction on Sunday, August 20, to make key safety improvements to historic Center Street, which includes resurfacing roads and installing its first-ever raised crosswalks.

“Center Street is designated as an ‘Enhanced Pedestrian Connection’ but does not prohibit motor traffic,” said Gordon Haight, Provo City Engineer in a news release. “We’re able to make cost-effective upgrades for a safer multi-modal transportation corridor more closely matching its intended use.”

This project will feature a variety of improvements meant to support both businesses and pedestrians in the area — starting with resurfacing the roadway between Freedom Boulevard and University Avenue to fix deterioration and potholes.

Officials remark that pedestrian safety is a major concern with this project, as traffic speeds are often greater than what’s posted.

“The speed limit is 15, but the average speed is 35. This makes crosswalks dangerous and backing out of parking stalls difficult,” says Quinn Peterson, Director of Downtown Provo, Inc.

To remediate this, the city will be installing raised crosswalks and enhanced lighting in mid-block crossings at 50 W and 450 W, with future possibilities for additional raised crosswalks.

These raised crosswalks are reportedly designed to provide traffic calming, pedestrian visibility, and driver notification of entrance into the pedestrian connection.

In addition, the project will supplement roadways with shared lane markings (known as sharrows) to indicate a shared lane for bicycle, scooter, and vehicle traffic.

“Historic Downtown Provo is a unique, quaint destination location meant to be leisurely enjoyed,” remarks Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi on the project. “While challenging during the construction process, these necessary improvements will help preserve it and enhance its vibrancy.”

On top of these improvements, the city will convert landscaping areas into outdoor dining areas at the northeast corner of the 200 W and 100 W intersections for downtown businesses to utilize.

Free parking will also become available on the site of the former Provo City Hall at 351 W Center Street, according to the city’s news release.

Construction is reported to be completed by approximately October 9, 2023, with possible date changes to due weather, unforeseen construction items, and other unknowns.

This project offers several detour routes for commuters during the expected construction.

The city has also provided a full timeline of the closures alongside each segment of the project.

Closure Timeline:

  • Sunday, Aug 20 – Full Closure – Utility Lowering
  • Sunday, Aug 27 – Full Closure – Mill Travel Lanes
  • Mon–Tues, Aug 28-29 – One Lane Open – Mill Parking
  • Sunday, Sept 10 – Eastbound Open – Pave North Side
  • Monday, Sept 11 – Westbound Open – Pave South Side
  • Sunday, Sept 17 – Full Closure – Raise Utilities

Raised Crosswalk Timeline:

  • August 21 – September 1 – Full Closure – 450 W Crosswalk
  • September 25 – October 9 – Full Closure – 50 W Crosswalk