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The Interstate 15 Express Lanes system in March 2018.

OGDEN — The Utah Department of Transportation crews will be off of a busy Northern Utah section of Interstate 15 soon, but they’ll be right back at it in less than a year.

UDOT crews are wrapping up a project on I-15 to replace sections of concrete between Hill Field Road in Layton and 31st Street in Ogden.

Last year, the transportation department found multiple broken concrete panels along the section of freeway, most of which were originally built onto I-15 in the 1960s.

Construction teams have been cutting out the broken pieces and replacing them with pre-made slabs, a technique that has been used to treat I-15 for years.

UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said the panel placement will be complete on Saturday, with crews then grinding and smoothing them into place.

Work on the project has been taking place during evening hours, so when it’s finished, all freeway lanes will reopen for nighttime commuters.

But shortly after this winter’s snow thaws, orange cones and construction machinery will make another appearance on the same stretch road — and with much greater impact.

In early 2019, the state will begin a $158 million project to add new lanes to north and southbound I-15 between Hill Field Road and Interstate 84 near the Riverdale/Ogden border.

“That’ll be the next project there,” Saunders said. “And it’s a big one.”

The project will expand UDOT’s Express Lanes system, which allows carpoolers, buses, motorcycles, emergency vehicles and clean-fuel vehicles. The addition will extend the system to 82 miles, running contiguously from Utah County to Weber County.

The expansive project was funded in 2017 after the Utah Legislature approved a bill that allowed the state to expedite certain transportation projects with a $1 billion, four year bond.

UDOT will also replace freeway bridges at Church Street in Layton and at 200 South in Clearfield, as part of the project. They will replace bridge decks at Gentile Street in Layton, at 700 South and 650 North in Clearfield, and at 5600 West and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Roy.

The project will likely take two years to complete.

The state’s Express Lanes system allows solo drivers the lane for a fee when space is open. An electronic payment process charges solo drivers by using an algorithm that adjusts the price based on current traffic conditions. Costs are higher when I-15 is more congested.

During the 2018 legislative session, state lawmakers approved a measure that doubled the state’s Express Lane toll for single-occupancy drivers, bumping the maximum toll rate from $1 per segment to $2 per segment, or from about 10 cents to 20 cents per mile.

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at facebook.com/mitchshaw.standardexaminer.

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