UDOT advises motorists to expect delays during U.S. 89 project near Panguitch

CEDAR CITY — As a major highway improvement project gets under way in Garfield County, motorists are being told to expect delays along sections of U.S. Highway 89 and state Route 143 during the coming months.

Yellow strips show sections of roadway included in new $17 million improvement project near Panguitch, Utah | Image courtesy of Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News / Cedar City News | Click to enlarge

Starting as early as Wednesday, the section of U.S. 89 between the highway’s junction with SR-12 and the town of Hatch will be reduced to one-way traffic as crews begin to resurface the roadway. Traffic will be controlled by a pilot car leading other vehicles alternately, one direction at a time. 

Drivers should plan on delays of up to 20 minutes, according to Utah Department of Transportation officials, who said the work will be performed during daylight hours, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Preliminary work on the $17 million federally funded project began in late March, and the project is expected to be completed by early November, said Kevin Kitchen, communications manager for UDOT’s Region 4. The contractor is Western Rock Products, a division of Staker Parsons Companies.

The work on U.S. 89 includes milling down approximately 9 miles of pavement and then replacing it with new pavement, Kitchen told Cedar City News, adding that another 10-mile section will undergo a process called cold-in-place recycling, which uses special equipment to pick up the existing pavement layer, grind it, mix it with materials and binding chemicals and then lay it down again as the road’s new surface.  

This project will also extend the pavement width in the town of Hatch and include new striping to incorporate a center-turn lane, Kitchen added. 

“Three additional culverts are being added on the highway to help with drainage, and guardrails and some signing will be upgraded,” he said.

“The project also consists of  smoothing out some rough areas on state Route 143 immediately south of Panguitch and then adding a layer of pavement there,” added Kitchen, who noted the SR-143 phase of the project is expected to take place later in the summer. That phase involves approximately 5 miles of roadway starting within Panguitch city limits and heading south.

The milling of some sections of roadway in Panguitch will be adjusted so as to align in height with the existing curbs and gutters, Kitchen said.  

UDOT said in a written statement that the department has been working with Panguitch, Hatch and Garfield County in preparation for this project and is “pleased to be able to address a portion of local needs in conjunction with this preservation work.”

“This project applies several processes tailored to the unique environment of the area,” the statement continued. “This work should provide a smoother ride, preserve the life of these highways and improve safety.” 

For more information, visit the UDOT project webpage or call 888-966-6624. Those interested in receiving regular email updates about the project may sign up by emailing [email protected].

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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