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Section of I-80 closing this weekend for bridge replacement

Here's how to avoid the traffic headache
Posted at 10:17 AM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 20:17:22-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Drivers should be prepared for a traffic headache starting Friday in Salt Lake City.

A "bridge slide" over Interstate 80 will close the highway in both directions between Foothill Drive and 700 East starting Friday at 9:00 p.m. until Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

Construction crews will demolish the existing 1700 East bridge over I-80 and slide the new bridge into place; the new bridge was constructed next to the existing bridge to minimize delays.

The span has been in place before a man walked on the moon, Woodstock and way before TikTok.

“This bridge was built back in the 1960s, it’s done a great job over the years but it’s time to replace it,” said UDOT spokesperson John Gleason.

Utah pioneered the sliding method, which eliminates lengthy traffic restrictions for drivers. Crews have spent the past several months building the new bridge right next to the old one.

I-80 closure for bridge replacement this weekend

When demolition is complete, the new bridge slides into place.

The entire process will take about 9 hours and requires using hydraulic jacks, metal shoe slides and, believe it not, Dawn dishwasher detergent.

“And those fit on some pads that are slippery, low friction. Then we apply dish soap and so it’s super slippery and use hydraulic jacks to slide it into place,” said Becky Stromness with UDOT.

The replacement bridge will provide a smoother ride for drivers and more room for pedestrians and cyclists with enhanced biking lanes and shoulders.

The project is one of 175 under construction in Utah in 2022, with a total value of $2.5 billion.