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Crews fill potholes on Summit County interstate, expect busy spring

Crews including the man operating this backhoe filled several sections of potholes of the ramp that connects U.S. 40 to I-80 westbound Wednesday.

As a historically stormy winter leaves roads battered, state crews are using sunny days to fill potholes. On Thursday, they were at work on the flyover ramp near Silver Summit.

The ramp that connects U.S. Highway 40 to Interstate 80 westbound closed Thursday, but drivers can enjoy a smoother path when it reopens Friday.

It wasn’t the only pothole-filling site in the area; a couple miles down the road, the exit ramp from I-80 eastbound received the same treatment, with one of two lanes closed.

“Over today and tomorrow, we're trying to hit a few different places across the state while we've got the weather that cooperates,” said John Gleason, director of public relations for the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). “We're trying to get as many as many potholes filled as we can before we get the next storm — the next series of storms, the way it's been going this winter.”

Most of the recent potholes on the interstate and highways nearby are products of water seeping into asphalt, then freezing, expanding and cracking the surface. Also, huge amounts of salt and frequent plowing have exacerbated that effect, especially on old roads.

As UDOT plans a schedule for repairs, maintenance to keep the roads drivable isn’t over yet. Gleason said that’s especially the case in the Park City area, because its weather is the most extreme of anywhere with major roads in the state.

“We're seeing snow in parts of the state that we don't usually see snow,” he said, “and in those areas up here, where we see snow typically, we're seeing much more of it, and we're seeing more potholes, more need for our plows to be out there clearing the roads.”

With three months left of the state’s fiscal year, UDOT has already spent $1.2 million to fill potholes. Gleason said that’s 25% more than it usually spends in an entire year.

He also praised UDOT employees. In the past month across the state, he said plows went out 25 of 31 days. Some of the construction workers on the flyover ramp Thursday had worked 23 days straight.

“Major kudos to our crews out here,” he said. “They've had tremendous focus this winter, and to just put out the tremendous effort that they do day in and day out, we couldn't be more appreciative.”

Next, Gleason said UDOT will schedule more repairs as weather allows throughout the spring months.

Traffic and construction reports are available in real time on the UDOT traffic website.

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