STERLING—A joint road construction project between UDOT and the county began last week on U.S. 89 between Manti and Sterling to provide a left turn lane for southbound U.S. 89 traffic turning onto Brick Hill Road, also known as Jensen Road.
The construction will also add an acceleration lane, where north-bound traffic from Brick Hill Road, which is turning right onto U.S. 89, may more safely merge.
Drivers can expect delays of 10-30 minutes along the highway during peak times because traffic is presently down to one lane. Northbound traffic must stop while southbound traffic is escorted by a pilot vehicle, and vice versa. In addition, Brick Hill Road is closed at the intersection and must be accessed from other side roads off the highway.
The safety improvement project, valued at $1.45 million, includes $1 million from the federal Highway Safety and Improvement Program, which is administered by the Utah Department of Transportation. The remaining $450,000 is being contributed by Sanpete County.
“This intersection is an area that the county would like to see improved,” said Kevin Kitchen, a manager at UDOT, explaining that minor crashes have occurred at the intersection, including one in the last year that was fatal. The intersection is located at the base of a hill, and it is common for people turning onto U.S. 89 from Brick Hill Road to misjudge the speeds of oncoming traffic.
In 2021, UDOT widened U.S. 89 between Manti and Sterling, but the county contribution of the funds for the intersection improvement were not available until this year, Kitchen explained. The project will simply add to the work that was completed last year and will require some restriping of lanes.
Fiber optic cables will also be relocated for the project, and water culverts will be extended to help with drainage in the area, Kitchen said.
Several residences are located along Brick Hill Road, which also connects to Palisade Road.