COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — Drivers should expect a few changes in the near future on their way around Cottonwood Heights.
Crews with the Utah Department of Transportation are set to begin a substantial bridge closure that’s going to impact drivers getting onto Interstate 215 from Union Park Avenue.
The bridge here connecting drivers onto westbound I-215 is going to be closed for more than two weeks beginning later Tuesday evening..
After decades of service, during which hundreds of thousands of vehicles have used it, engineers say the bridge needs some reinforcement work. Critical bridge supports will be replaced, new barrier walls will be installed and a thin layer of pavement covering the surface will complete the process.
It all means the long-term gain of reinforcing the structure is going to lead to some short term pain for commuters.
“The Union Park Avenue Bridge, thousands of people use it every day and we don’t want there to be any surprises," said UDOT's John Gleason. "We are doing some pretty substantial work on it over the next two weeks, so that’s going to require us to close it down."
Even though most of the work will be done at night, it’s still going to be really hot. Construction managers will need to make sure workers aren’t overexerting themselves.
“So we need to make sure that our workers are safe, that they are taking extra water breaks. Communication is key, we need to make sure that our workers are communicating with each other and with the supervisors that if there’s any signs of heat exhaustion or exposure that they let people know so that we’re not pushing people to the point where it’s a dangerous situation,” Gleason added.
The bridge will need to be closed during the day, so UDOT officials recommend finding an alternate route for those who use it on a regular basis. If not, commuters will be forced onto I-215 eastbound where they can turn around at an off ramp to get back onto westbound lanes.