Powder Mountain Road 06

Vehicles drive on Highway 158, Powder Mountain Road, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. UDOT plans to improve the road from Eden up to the ski area. The road is one of the steepest and deadliest highways in Utah.

EDEN — The Utah Department of Transportation is set to begin roadwork next week between two of the Upper Ogden Valley’s most visited recreation sites.

UDOT Senior Communications Manager Zach Whitney said as early as Aug. 3 crews will begin working on an $8 million project to resurface State Route 158 and make safety improvements to it between Pineview Reservoir and Powder Mountain resort.

Whitney said the project includes total asphalt replacement in some areas and road resurfacing along the entire construction route. Guardrails will be replaced and new culverts will be installed.

As part of the project, sporadic lane closures will be required from the reservoir to the resort. S.R. 158 will be reduced to one-way traffic, controlled by flaggers where work is taking place. The work is scheduled to take place during daytime driving hours, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Because of this, Whitney said motorists should expect delays while traveling through the area.

Whitney said work on the project will continue through the fall.

According to UDOT traffic statistics, S.R. 158 is the busiest road in the upper valley by multitudes. In 2017, an average of 7,400 vehicles traveled on the road every day. The next busiest road, S.R. 39 through Huntsville, averaged about 6,500 cars per day in 2017. The traffic numbers on other roads in the valley sharply decline after that.

In the last decade or more, fatal crashes on the road and increased development at the resort have fueled demands for a better road.

At least three fatal crashes have been attributed to vehicles losing their brakes while negotiating the steep downhill grade, which averages 14% along the 5-mile stretch between Powder Mountain and Eden. According to past Standard-Examiner coverage, a 16-year-old boy was killed when a motor home crashed while returning from a motocross event at the resort in 2009; a street-sweeper driver died in a crash on Aug. 16, 2018; and a man was thrown from a crashing cargo truck on Jan. 9, 2019.

Authorities attributed all three crashes to brake failures.

For more information on the project or to sign up for email updates, visit udot.utah.gov/go/sr158 or call 888-556-0232. Live traffic impacts can be seen at udottraffic.utah.gov.

Whitney said construction schedules and timelines are weather-dependent and subject to change.

Standard-Examiner reporter Mark Shenefelt contributed to this story.

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