Utah Department of Transportation Project Manager Devin Squire gave a quick update on three UDOT projects in Grand County this summer at the June 21 Grand County Commission meeting. The first is underway: motorists on Highway 191 north of Moab will have noticed equipment and crews working on repaving the highway.

“We’ve got a few more days of paving to make the lanes level again, and then we’re going to put a top coat of asphalt on, so we’re right in the middle of that job,” Squire said. In addition to making a smoother surface for drivers, crews will improve drainage and upgrade guardrails, signs and striping. Squire said delays from the project so far have been minimal.

In late July, UDOT will add a southbound passing lane on Highway 191 just south of Crescent Junction. Squire said most of that work will take place at night, and there won’t be lane closures during the day.

“That passing lane should relieve some of the tension for drivers coming into Moab, and give some passing opportunities before they get stuck behind semis for six miles,” Squire said.

Commissioner Trisha Hedin emphasized the importance of more passing lanes.

“It’s imperative,” she said. “We are having a lot [of accidents]—and fatalities, unfortunately.” The most recent major car accident happened on Highway 191 south of Moab on June 18 and caused one fatality.

The last UDOT project in the area this summer is a “micro surfacing” of Highway 191 south of Moab from La Sal Junction to 300 South. It’s a quick, economical way to extend the life of a road. That project will also begin in July and operations will take place mostly at night, causing minimal traffic disruption.

Commissioners asked about plans for an entrance into the recently designated Utahraptor State Park; Squire said that the project will not begin until 2023 at the very earliest.