Daniel Wright, manager of Cabo Grill, stands in front of the restaurant where UDOT crews will reduce traffic to one lane in each direction during a repaving project between July 29 and August 10. Wright expressed that he would have preferred the paving project would have been done in winter instead of during the tourist season. [Photo by Kristin Millis / Moab Sun News]

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will begin resurfacing portions of Highway 191 in downtown Moab beginning Monday, July 29. The state highway also serves as Moab’s Main Street as it winds through town.

The goal of the $2.3 million project is to improve the pavement and to increase safety for both motorists and pedestrians, said UDOT spokesman Kevin Kitchen.

W.W. Clyde will be contracted to do the work

Two sections of Highway 191 will be improved. The northern section to be resurfaced extends from 200 North to Cermak Ave., near Inca Inn on the north side of Moab. The southern section to be resurfaced is from 300 South to Holyoak Lane.

City of Moab engineer Rebecca Andrus said that while the project is scheduled for 56 days, there will only be 26 days of construction.

“UDOT will be trying to make as little an impact during Moab’s tourist season as possible,” Andrus said.

Traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction between July 29 and Aug. 10. Driveways into businesses should not be closed for more than 30 minutes.

“It was stressed with UDOT in no uncertain terms that the community would be taken care of during this project,” Andrus said. “Pedestrians will be taken care of. There will be access. They won’t be able to just blow through town.”

Daniel Wright, manager of Cabo Grill is concerned about the construction during the tourist season.

“I think they should have done it in the winter so it wouldn’t affect the businesses,” Wright said.

Andrus said that Main Street shops have expressed concern that they may have to shut down during the tourist season to accommodate the resurfacing project. She said that shouldn’t be the case. While the entire project is 56 days, there may only be up to five to seven days of noise, vibrations, delays and loss of access to the driveways.

“They’re going to try to make this as painless as possible,” Andrus said.

“We will notify your place of business and/or residence at least 48 hours prior to construction activities taking place,” Kitchen said.

Work is scheduled between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, July 29 and 30 to mill the roadway two inches deep between 200 North to Cermak St. Workers will then do the same between 300 South and Holyoak Lane on Wednesday and Thursday, July 31 and Aug. 1.

Noise and vibrations should be expected during the milling portion.

After the milling work is completed on the southern section, workers will then return to the northern portion to replace the removed pavement with new pavement. They will then pave the southern portion.

Crews will then apply a final road surface layer to both the northern and southern sections.

“When you put down asphalt it is fairly porous and oxidizes, causing it to fail soon,” Andrus said. “They will be putting down a fine layer that seals it and helps it last longer.”

The paving project is expected to be completed by Aug. 10, Kitchen said.

“With the exception of some pedestrian ramps, construction will be limited to the roadway,” Kitchen said. “The existing curb and gutters will remain in place.”

Andrus said that the project includes making approximately 23 pedestrian ramps handicap accessible.

“The ones that are there at this time do not meet specifications,” Andrus said.

After a curing period of approximately 30 days, a paint crew will do permanent striping, Kitchen said.

“The pavement rehabilitation work on Moab’s Main Street is designed to prolong the life of the road by addressing age-related cracking, environmental exposure and by restoring some pavement structural strength,” Kitchen said.