Weather causes traffic issues in Parleys Canyon, Salt Lake Valley

Posted at 8:01 AM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 19:23:23-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Heavy precipitation caused delays and accidents in Parleys Canyon and parts of the Salt Lake Valley Wednesday morning.

According to Salt Lake County Emergency Management, drivers faced very hazardous conditions in Parleys Canyon. The Utah Department of Transportation indicated chains and four-wheel drive were required for all vehicles traveling eastbound in the canyon. Semi-trailers traveling westbound through the canyon must also use chains.

"What happens is, if you get a semi that's not equipped for the conditions, then they'll be stuck and all the rest of the traffic will snarl as well and our plows can't get through, just like everyone else. They'll get stuck and the roads just become increasingly snow-packed," said UDOT spokesman John Gleason.

Summit County officials described conditions earlier Wednesday in Parleys Canyon as "a parking lot." UDOT representative John Gleason said the traffic backup was making it difficult for plows to clear snow from the canyon.

UDOT also reports numerous crashes in the Salt Lake Valley. Drivers were advised to avoid the freeway, if possible.

"Freeway speeds were down to about 30 to 40 miles per hour throughout much of I-15 and much of 215 as well," Gleason said. "Down here in the valleys, we're not seeing as many as impacts as we typically would with a winter storm. But, really, again, Big [and] Little Cottonwood and Parleys are the places to watch out for."

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