The roads up Utah's canyons may seem a little less traveled this summer season compared to years in the past due to COVID-19, and the Utah Department of Transportation is taking advantage of the times as they get started on some big construction projects.
"Keeping our roads in top shape, keeping on top of the maintenance, it's critical," UDOT spokesman John Gleason said. "There's a lot of tourists, visitors to the state that come out here as well as our local Utah residents who enjoy the great outdoors."
The heavily trafficked Guardsman Pass Road will be closed on Monday and Tuesday as part of a project that will repave 9 miles of S.R. 190 through Big Cottonwood Canyon, starting at milepost 8 all the way to Brighton Ski Resort.
"There's a lot that this canyon has to offer. We want to make sure that people have the ability to access it and access those resort areas," Gleason said. "Maintaining our roads is critical because -- especially in this area that sees so much wear and tear, sees so much weather -- there can be a lot of eroding that happens, and we want to make sure we stave off any issues before they become problematic."
The well-known Tibble Fork Reservoir parking lot will also be repaved from July 12-17.
"During those times, we want to warn people not to park there. We don't want to see anyone getting in trouble or having any hassles up there," Gleason said.
UDOT says for the near future, drivers should plan on one-way traffic controlled by flaggers, with delays up to 15 minutes on Mondays through Thursdays throughout the nine-mile stretch of Big Cottonwood Canyon.
"we're trying to minimize impacts as much as possible. We're not saying that there won't be impacts, but we're trying to keep those to a minimum," Gleason said.
Construction is set to continue through the fall.