UDOT explains I-80 traffic nightmare

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SALT LAKE COUNTY - Drivers headed on I-80 Westbound Monday, were stuck in traffic for over two hours as congestion led to a logjam for ten miles.

"We had an emergency situation last night," said John Gleason, a spokesman for Utah Department of Transportation. "We had to fix some potholes that opened up. We thought we could finish the work before the evening commute but two-by-two foot holes opened up into six-by-eight foot holes."

Gleason said it's a result of the major ebbs and flows of temperatures.

"It's been such an active winter with the freeze and thaw cycle we've had. Plus, when you add salt brine to the mix, it all just accelerates the pothole process."

The potholes opening up on the I-80 Eastbound exit ramp to SR-36 at Lake Point caused one of the two ramps lanes to close. Since the exit is the only real thoroughfare between the Salt Lake Valley and Tooele, it left Tooele residents stranded without many alternatives to get home.

"We understand the frustration for drivers," Gleason confirmed. "Unfortunately, this wasn't planned work, it was an emergency."

By Tuesday afternoon, the potholes that had stalled traffic the night before were repaired and both lanes were open once more. UDOT says they will need to do additional work on the same bridge but will wait until the weekend or night to avoid backing up traffic during commuting hours.

According to UDOT additional work will need to be done on the same bridge but will wait until the weekend or night to avoid backing up traffic during commuting hours.