OGDEN — The state's $158 million reconstruction of Interstate 15 through Davis and Weber counties won't begin until 2019, but before the major overhaul starts, a project to prepare for it will tie up the freeway for the next few months.
The Utah Department of Transportation has begun a project on I-15 to rehabilitate sections of the concrete between Hill Field Road in Layton and 31st Street in Ogden.
UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders said the work will begin in Layton and move northbound. Right now, Saunders said, crews are concentrating their work between Layton and Roy.
The entire project will take about two months to complete. During the work, two lanes of the freeway (in each direction) will close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., Monday through Friday, and until 8 a.m. on Saturdays. Saunders said there could be some ramp closures as well, but efforts will be made to keep at least one ramp lane open at all times.
"There will be traffic impacts during the night," Saunders said. "But we're trying to keep traffic moving as usual during the day."
In early 2019, UDOT plans to add a new lane to both north and southbound I-15 between Hill Field Road in Layton and Interstate 84 near the Riverdale/Ogden border.
The lanes will be part of the state'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 continuously from Utah County to Weber County.
The project has been planned for years, but wasn't funded until 2017 when the Utah Legislature approved a bill that allowed the state to accelerate certain transportation projects by bonding for $1 billion over four years.
The Express Lanes freeway project was one of 26 statewide that were funded or moved up as a result of the bill.
While planning for that project, UDOT encountered broken concrete panels along outer sections of I-15 between Layton and Ogden area. The concrete is old, originally built onto I-15 in the 1960s, and needs to be replaced before the Express Lanes project starts, Saunders said.
Construction crews will cut out the broken pieces of concrete, replacing them with pre-made slabs.