Living in the cone zone

When planning travel routes around town, avoiding construction is difficult regardless of where home is. For residents of Wolverine Crossing, though, any venture out the front door is a difficult task.


Construction on Geneva Road started late in 2010 and will continue until May 2012. This project, including widening the road to five lanes from University Parkway to 1600 North in Orem, is only one of many projects plaguing locals.


Contrary to popular belief, constant citizen harassment in the form of detours, traffic delays and a barrage of orange barrels is not the primary intent of the Utah Department of Transportation. Many don’t think about the extensive work that goes into improving public transportation in ways that least negatively impact highway, byway and sidewalk users.


Heather Barnum, public information specialist for UDOT, explained that the changes being made in the Summit, Wasatch and Utah counties are planned by the Mountainland Association of Governments as far as 30 years in advance. These plans are continually scrutinized by officials at MAGS and UDOT.


Scrutiny is just one tool UDOT officials use to ease the burden of construction on drivers and pedestrians. Barnum explained that particularly heavy congestion at the intersection of Geneva Road and University Parkway motivated the shift of resources to open up an extra lane going through the intersection seven months ahead of schedule.


The UVU population has been and will continue to be considered in the planning and development of streets, sidewalks and utility work around town.


“When we look at population projection, we look at the community development. UVU definitely plays a big role in that,” Barnum said.


Since the I-15 CORE project won’t be completed for several months, Geneva Road will be a popular alternative route when it’s finished May 2012. Even with all the efforts to work with university schedules and maintain the safety and efficiency in the area surrounding Wolverine Crossing, Barnum fully expects the project to be completed on schedule.

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