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‘Don’t want to take any chances’: UDOT to remove more I-15 light poles over safety concerns



Visitors strikes alongside I-15 in Lehi on Dec. 16, 2020. The Utah Division of Transportation says 23 extra gentle poles are being eliminated beginning this weekend after one of many 120-foot fell final month and 4 extra had been discovered to be unstable. (Steve Griffin, Deseret Information)

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LEHI — Utah transportation officers say they may take away almost two dozen gentle poles on Interstate 15 within the coming weeks after one of the 120-foot poles tumbled onto a busy section of the freeway last month and 4 others had been discovered to be unstable.

The incident left transportation engineers unsettled and prompted the decision to take away the 23 remaining gentle poles between Essential Road in Lehi and state Route 92 as a security precaution, Utah Division of Transportation spokesman John Gleason mentioned. That effort, which can start Sunday, is anticipated to trigger periodic I-15 lane closures in each instructions however will not produce as many delays because the emergency closure in December.

“We do not need to take any probabilities with security,” Gleason mentioned. “So we instructed our contractor to take down all the remaining poles so we are able to do a detailed inspection, discover out why it occurred, why they failed and the way we are able to forestall it from occurring once more.”

UDOT engineers first grew to become conscious of the problem final month when a 120-foot pole crashed onto the freeway by 2100 North in Lehi on Dec. 26, based on the company. No one was harm and no vehicles had been reportedly struck; nonetheless, it did trigger speedy points. Tyson Pickett despatched KSL a photograph from the scene on the time, which confirmed the toppled pole blocking all lanes of the freeway whereas it was nonetheless darkish outdoors.

Cars stopped on I-15 in Lehi after a pole fell and blocked all the northbound lanes of the freeway on Dec. 26, 2021. No injuries were reported and four other poles were removed the following day because they were found to be unstable.
Vehicles stopped on I-15 in Lehi after a pole fell and blocked all of the northbound lanes of the freeway on Dec. 26, 2021. No accidents had been reported and 4 different poles had been eliminated the next day as a result of they had been discovered to be unstable. (Picture: Tyson Pickett, iWitness)

Crews eliminated the pole that day however then discovered 4 comparable poles had been unstable after an inspection. This resulted in an emergency closure of the freeway in each instructions that lasted a number of hours on Dec. 27, as crews eliminated these poles.

Not one of the poles had been that outdated. They had been all put in as part of UDOT’s I-15 Expertise Hall undertaking only a 12 months or two in the past, based on Gleason. It stays unclear as to why one fell and 4 others grew to become unstable.

However the company’s engineers did not really feel assured that they may proceed inspections of the poles whereas they continue to be on I-15, so engineers will take away the 23 different poles put in within the space on the time and examine them away from the busy freeway.

“We need to be assured that they’re functioning the way in which that they need to,” Gleason mentioned. “This space sees extra climate than nearly anyplace else within the state — excessive winds, a whole lot of precipitation. These poles want to have the ability to stand as much as that. … We’re not snug not realizing the solutions.”

After this Sunday, there will probably be some lane closures in place in each instructions Sundays from 8 a.m. to five p.m. and comparable closures from 9 a.m. to three p.m. Mondays by Thursdays till the undertaking is full. UDOT picked these instances as a result of they’re between regular morning and night commutes.

It is estimated that crews will be capable to take away three poles per day however the effort could final into February, simply in case there are any climate points that may trigger any delays in the course of the instances of labor, Gleason mentioned.

Drivers ought to put together for delays of 5 to 10 minutes within the space in the course of the instances of labor. Gleason mentioned that drivers also needs to decelerate and be conscious of the development crews within the space.

We’ll try to work as shortly as we are able to,” he added.

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