Contractor Edward Kraemer & Sons Inc., Denver, also removed about 7,000 ft of center median barrier and put temporary barriers in place to shift traffic to the south side of the highway. CDOT says it would have required about 20 nights to do the work if it hadn't had the one weekend highway closure.

Overall, the project will replace six obsolete bridges on U.S. 6 between Knox Court and I-25, improve traffic flow in the Interstate 25 and U.S. 6 interchange and eliminate several awkward "traffic weave movements" along U.S. 6 between Federal Boulevard and I-25.

"These critical improvements have been a long time in the making and will make the roadways much safer," says Kevin Sullivan, CDOT project director.

As part of the design-build approach, CDOT is seeking public input about one of the project's critical "pinch points" at the westbound U.S. 6 Lowell-Perry exit. At issue is the introduction of new lanes along the north side of the freeway. The barrier-separated lanes will handle traffic from I-25 to the city's western suburbs and merge it with westbound U.S. 6 near the Lowell-Perry off ramp. Residents are concerned about the safety of the traffic flow in the area, so CDOT is exploring options that would avoid having the traffic that is exiting the freeway cross with merging traffic.

"We are trying to strike a balance between providing safe, efficient travel for highway commuters with neighborhood needs," says Amy Ford, CDOT communications director. One of the options includes permanently closing the off ramp and having residents use other nearby freeway exits, although many people in the neighborhood are not happy with that alternative.

SLC Leaders Want to Add Convention Hotel

City now seeking a private-sector partner

Plans to develop more convention and hotel space in downtown Salt Lake City got the green light from legislators in the 2014 session. Bills passed in the House and Senate and signed by Gov. Gary Herbert will provide $75 million in tax incentives to a private developer.

The plan is to build an 800- to 1,000-room hotel, parking garage and additional convention space to augment the existing 675,000 sq ft at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center. The state, along with Salt Lake County and the city, will each contribute $25 million to the total, to be paid over 20 to 25 years. The bill also provides for a compensation fund for other downtown hotels if they lose revenue to the new development.

The next step, according to Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, is to form a 10-member committee that will create developer guidelines and an RFP. "This (development) is something we've talked about for years as a missing component of our convention business," McAdams says. "We want to take advantage of this now while construction costs are still low. As we talked about it, the idea of a public-private partnership emerged, and it looked like a good way to move forward."