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New I-80 westbound lane in Tooele County opens 6 months ahead of schedule

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New I-80 westbound lane in Tooele County opens 6 months ahead of schedule (KUTV)

Drivers in Tooele County will get some relief from the familiar Interstate 80 congestion starting Wednesday.

Construction on a new westbound lane has wrapped ahead of schedule, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

The new exit only lane is between state Route 201 and state Route 36. UDOT says it will offer more space for entering or exiting the interstate, which should improve traffic flow and reduce delays for drivers.

Traffic engineers estimate the new lane could reduce traffic delays by up to five times during incidents where a westbound lane is blocked between the two state routes.

Materials for the project arrived sooner than expected. That, combined with less traffic because of the pandemic, allowed UDOT crews to complete the construction six months earlier than planned.

"This was supposed to be finished six months from now," said Tooele County Commissioner Tom Tripp. "We had a good window — some fortuitous things, in fact — there was a little less traffic when this thing started up because of the COVID situation."

The new lane will officially be open to drivers on Wednesday morning.

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