Construction Heads-up for 300 South

Construction is scheduled to begin on 300 South between 100 West and 700 East Monday, April 4. Provo City and the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) are partnering to improve mobility in this area by rebuilding the road in concrete, adding new storm drains, improving safety and providing space for active transportation options like walking and bicycling.

The project will reconstruct 300 South in concrete pavement; add new storm drain, curb, gutter, sidewalks, and raised medians; add a new traffic signal at 400 East and improved pedestrian/bicycle crossings at 200 East and 600 East; add an 8- foot pedestrian/bicycle path on the north side and bicycle lanes on both shoulders and new park-strips and landscaping with improved lighting, plants, trees and tree grates.

300S & 400E_Option 3
The new intersection at 400 East

 
The project will install raised medians to improve safety and allow space for new bike lanes on both shoulders. A new traffic signal will be added at 400 East to accommodate left turns and the other side streets will become right-turn in and out.

300S & 200E Option 3
Raised median barrier and signal at 200 East.

 
We know that the raised medians will change local driving patterns but this was a compromise that allowed us to add more features like the widened pedestrian path and bike lanes while still keeping two travel lanes in each direction. 300 South is a major corridor in Provo and we want to provide opportunities for all kinds of travelers, not just automobiles.

Meet the Contractor Open House

While many of the Maeser Neighborhood members have been participating in the project since the design process began in 2013, other Provo residents and business owners are just learning about the project. The team is hosting a Meet the Contractor open house this Thursday, March 24 at Provo Peaks Elementary School, 665 East Center Street, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Come meet the team and learn more about the project and its impacts. You can RSVP on the Facebook Event page here.

Traffic Impact

During construction 300 South will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Motorists should be prepared for significant delays and use alternate routes like I-15 or University Avenue when possible. Area residents and businesses can expect short-term, intermittent driveway interruptions and construction work during the day and at night to complete work this year.

Stay up to date

We want you to stay informed about activities that will impact you! The project team sends regular email updates with information about scheduled construction impacts and major activities. You can sign up for email updates by emailing 300South@utah.gov or by calling the project hotline at 888-556-0232. More information is also available online at udot.utah.gov/go/300south.

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  1. Cool Chris

    Glad to see this happening. There is a a significant amount of foot traffic on this road for most of the day. I ride my bike on this portion of the road almost daily and am looking forward to having the bike lanes. Additionally, the addition of additional cross-walks are a great safety feature for those attempting to cross when traffic does not stop for them. I appreciate Provo making efforts to incorporate pedestrian/bicycle traffic into traffic plans.

  2. Rob

    This seems like what 300 S. desperately needs.

  3. Beverly

    I love the new intersections, wider lanes, and adding bike lanes. But I’m curious as to how adding a median (which will result in u-turns for people needing access to the houses and businesses) will increase safety for non-auto travelers?

    1. Leah Jaramillo - Project Communication Manager

      Hi Beverly,
      In order to widen the road to make room for the project improvements including new bike lanes, the multi-use path on the north side, and widened sidewalk on the south side, the center turning lane that currently exists had to be removed. Since the road will remain two lanes in each direction, the raised medians provide a safety barrier between the two directions of traffic. The new pedestrian/bike crossing at 200 East, new fully signalized intersection at 400 East and the new pedestrian actuated crossing at 600 East are being added to make safe designated pedestrian/bike crossing locations at openings in the medians.
      Leah Jaramillo
      Communications Manager
      Provo 300 South Improvements
      888-556-0232
      300South@utah.gov

  4. Brian

    So I was hoping to comment directly to the UDOT people, but I can’t find a way there. I’m excited for improved multi-modal corridors. This is what we should do with every new road project and I am glad that projects like Bulldog exist as examples of doing it right. I can’t find actual plans on-line, and I doubt at this point they can be changed, but I would like to make some comments based on the renderings shown. My concern as a cyclist for this project is the renderings show a meager bike lane. Yes it is improved safety over no bike lane, but it seems like on a 1-10 scale (1 being not existent, to 10 impressively safe) we have improved from 1 to 2. White lines don’t protect cyclists from 4,000 lb automobiles. The bike lane itself as shown seems somewhat inadequate. This design shows a white line as the left limit and the curb as the right limit. This can be dangerous especially if there is a seam between the roadway and the gutter, a skinny bike eater, tires get stuck in the transition and cause crashes. Other roadways with this situation force the cyclist to only use 2/3rds of the bike lane, and constantly pay attention to the ground, instead of head up looking for other dangers. The post says the road will all be rebuilt in concrete. This is great if there are no seams in the bike lane, but knowing typical road construction, curbs are poured first, then drivepad second, with an expansion joint seam in-between. Again, I know the images in the post are just conceptual drawings. It seems to me from the conceptual drawings that you could eliminate the really narrow grass strip, that will just increase maintenance, with little added benefit. For pedestrians this grass strip again meagerly improves from a 1-2 scale of safety. Instead, eliminate this wasted space and widen the bike lane, or even make the sidewalk wider and turn it into a multi-use path. (although I doubt this option would improve safety due to the incredible number of driveway entrances along this route.) Maybe on the actual plans this has all been considered and isn’t an issue.

    My biggest concern is safety for cyclists and pedestrians. My second biggest concern is that a minute improvement in safety will result in a minute increase in bicycle or pedestrian use on this corridor. Then in the future the numbers don’t show a significant increase in riders or walkers, so future projects delete the bike lanes and pedestrian improvements, because it appears no one uses them anyways.

    1. Leah Jaramillo - Project Communication Manager

      Brian,
      Provo City and UDOT worked hard to develop a scenario in which all of these project improvements fit into the current roadway footprint with the least impact to the surrounding neighborhood. UDOT did end up purchasing some property from homes and businesses fronting 300 South, but did their best to minimize the amount of property needed. The design process took 3 years and included a lot of feedback from the Maeser Neighborhood, area residents, property and business owners, as well as the cycling community. The final widths of the multi-use path, park strips, and bike lanes were all coordinated to provide the best version of the roadway within the constraints the project team had to work with.

      I would encourage you to come to the project meeting this Thursday to learn more.
      Leah Jaramillo
      Communication Manager
      Provo 300 South
      888-556-0232
      300south@utah.gov

      1. Brian

        Thank you Leah for your reply. I’m sure everyone did their homework and did their best with the constraints presented. I reread my comment and realize I came across a bit grumpy old, uninformed, arm chair referee, nimby. I’m just crazy passionate about good infrastructure, especially when it means I can ride my bike (another crazy passion) more with increased odds to still come home in one piece to my wife and four kids. Keep up the good work. I’ll try to make it to the meeting. So excited with the changes we are making in the city. Keep up the good work!

      2. Leah Jaramillo

        Sorry Brian, I didn’t mean to seem defensive. I just wanted to explain the work the project team has done to date. It’s been a long process to get here and we really feel like this design has accommodated the best if everything that can fit. I’ll check on a traffic study, but I know that UDOT will adjust the signal timing to make accommodations for u-turns and more turning movements at the signals. From what I remember, the team did not think this would slow traffic to an unsustainable level, but it will slow traffic a bit. This may actually be a good thing since traffic is generally traveling over the posted speed of 35 mph.

      3. Brian

        Well Leah, I didn’t take it as defensive. This is a prime example why face to face meetings are much more effective than a 600 character comment on the internet about years of study and meetings by experts who know all the intimate details. It’s like, “sure you’ve had all these studies and meetings, but I’m going to solve the problem after reading a short article and seeing two pictures.” I can tell you are passionate about it as well. Which is great to know passionate people are involved.

  5. Aaron Skabelund

    Per Brian’s concerns, I know that the width available was an issue. How wide will the auto travel lanes be?

    1. Leah Jaramillo - Project Communication Manager

      Aaron,
      The travel lanes are 11′ wide. The bike lanes are 4′ wide.
      Leah Jaramillo
      Communication Manager
      Provo 300 South
      888-556-0232
      300south@utah.gov

      1. Aaron Skabelund

        Good. Glad they are not 12′.

  6. Carl

    Why the concrete divider? Just seems like a waist of space and material. Plus causing more U-turns.

    1. Leah Jaramillo - Project Communication Manager

      Carl,
      In order to widen the road to make room for the project improvements including new bike lanes, the multi-use path on the north side, and widened sidewalk on the south side, the center turning lane that currently exists had to be removed. Since the road will remain two lanes in each direction, the raised medians provide a safety barrier between the two directions of traffic.
      Leah Jaramillo
      Communication Manager
      Provo 300 South
      888-556-0232
      300south@utah.gov

      1. Carl

        LOL, because clearly we are unable to drive down the road without a concrete center divider. It is only done every day on most roads in Provo.

  7. Ali

    As someone who drives 300 South daily, I also feel the added median increases the risk of accidents rather than aiding toward safety. There will be constant U-turns made by drivers and traffic will increase on an already busy thoroughfare as vehicles wait on people ahead needing to turn. The frustration this will inevitably cause can only be bad for businesses in the area, some of which are already struggling or vacant. I agree a bike lane is long overdue, however, to prioritize the widened pedestrian walkway over the flow of all other traffic seems shortsighted at best.

    I would be interested to see if any impact studies were done and if so, have access to those results.

    1. Leah Jaramillo - Communication manager

      Ali,
      The signals will be adjusted to account for more time for the left turns and u-turns at the intersections. Traffic and safety data also show that u-turns are safer when they occur at signalized intersections.

      The project team did perform a traffic study which accounted for a projected 22% increase in traffic between 2013 and 2040. When looking at the flow of traffic on 300 South with the new intersections, the report found that the intersections would function at acceptable levels of service through 2040. The traffic model shows an increase of about 10 seconds delay per movement during the peak hour at the University Avenue intersection and an increase of about 5 seconds at 700 East. The projected intersection delay at the new 400 East section is just under 13 seconds.

  8. Jeromiah

    I love this project, but why isn’t it happening west of 100 west all the way to 500 west? This project is needed in Franklin neighborhood as much as in the Maeser neighborhood. Was there not enough funding/support?

    1. Leah Jaramillo - Communication manager

      Jeromiah,
      The project team did their best to stretch the project budget as far as possible, but there was not enough funding to construct all of the project features all the way to 500 West. This is something both UDOT and Provo City are looking to in the future.

  9. Leah Jaramillo - Communication Manager

    If you weren’t able to come to the Meet the Contractor – Maeser Neighborhood Meeting last night, you can see the presentation materials online. Visit the project website at http://www.udot.utah.gov/go/300south and click on the “Downloads” tab at the top of the page.
    Feel free to contact the project team with questions or for more info any time.
    300south@utah.gov
    888-556-0232

  10. Samuel Gibson

    Please keep the UTA bus stops away from the corners this time. Some of the placements before you started construction were confusing on if people were waiting to cross the road, or waiting for the bus.

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