TREMONTON — The transportation department has initiated a significant reduction in speed on Interstate 84 through Box Elder County as work continues on an $8 million reconstruction of the freeway there.

Utah Department of Transportation Region One Senior Communications Manager Zach Whitney said the speed limit on I-84 has been reduced to 45 mph in active work zones between Howell and Tremonton, and 55 mph in other areas within project limits. The state is currently repairing damaged concrete along the 15-mile stretch of I-84, a project that is expected to last through November, according to UDOT’s website.

When the project began in mid-June, the normal 80 mph speed limits were reduced to 70 mph. But Whitney said road officials decided to lower speed limits even further after just a few weeks of construction.

“There wasn’t one incident in particular (that precipitated the change),” Whitney said. “It’s just in general, people are refusing to slow down through the work zone.”

Speed limits are being heavily enforced in the area by the Utah Highway Patrol, Whitney said, and would-be speeders will face fines twice the normal amount if they’re caught speeding in the area.

The I-84 speed reduction figures to further tie up traffic in the area as work on the project continues.

The freeway is currently reduced to one lane in each direction, around the clock, in work zones of 5-mile segments. Active construction is happening from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, but all work will be suspended during the upcoming Pioneer Day weekend, from 1 p.m. Thursday, July 23, to 4 a.m. Monday, July 27.

I-84 is a major gateway in and out of Utah and sees significant truck traffic. According to UDOT data, the stretch of road under construction averages between 10,000 and 12,000 vehicles per day.

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