UDOT Warns of Parley’s Canyon Closures This Week

Jul 30, 2018, 1:43 PM | Updated: 10:51 pm

PARLEY’S CANYON  Utah has many tunnels that allow animals to cross under freeways, but soon it will have an overpass to allow wildlife to cross in Parleys Canyon.

While this is expected to help with wildlife and driver safety in the future, it’s going to cause some driver headaches this week.

Westbound I-80 will be closed Tuesday, July 31st from 8pm to Wednesday, August 1st 6am between Jeremy Ranch and Lambs Canyon.

Eastbound between those same areas will be closed Wednesday, August 1st from 8pm to Thursday, August 2nd at 6am.

The $5-million taxpayer funded bridge is part of a bigger construction project in the area.

UDOT officials said it made sense to get this done at the same time and for the safety of drivers and animals.

“We have dozens that happen every year,” said UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason referring to car crashes involving wildlife. He says, “the type of animals that we see are generally a lot of deer, elk, and moose we’ve even seen, so you can imagine the impact that that would have if you would hit an adult moose head on,” he said.

The construction crew spotted a bull elk last month looking like it wanted to cross the road at the spot of the future wildlife overpass during a meeting in the area. 

Krachel Murdock, Public Affairs with Summit County, says this addition is great for locals and visitors. “Viewpoints of residents are across the board. Of course, we have many wh   o are in support of the bridge. There are skeptics and I think that for those who are skeptics the general thought is ‘well we’ll wait and see. Let’s see if it works and time will tell,’” she said.

UDOT officials suggest avoiding the area Tuesday and Wednesday night or taking I-84 through Ogden or going through Provo Canyon.

The wildlife bridge will be complete in the fall, but these night closures are to put 12 steel beams into place.

Construction Manager Clint Wiscombe of R.L. Wadsworth Construction says that a project of this magnitude would usually take at least four nights to put together, but they say they’re trying to get it done in two. “I think with the awesome crew we have and the great crane operators we have. I think we can get it done in one night in each direction”’ he said. “This could have been a lot more impactful. It could have been four nights.”

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UDOT Warns of Parley’s Canyon Closures This Week