UDOT crews battle heat while working on construction projects

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OGDEN — As double-digit temperatures start climbing into the triple digits and breaking records, construction is still happening.

Driving down the highway, on side roads; you name it: The show must go on. A lot of construction during the summer happens overnight or during the early morning hours.

This effort considers traffic, while also considering high heat. With that in mind, there is still some active construction happening during the hottest parts of the day.

"We have hundreds going on right now across the state," said Mitch Shaw, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation. There are projects from top to bottom.

"There's projects on I-15. There's projects on local roads, so there is a lot of construction work going on right now," Shaw said.

He said there is a reason construction projects happen when the sun is out and the heat dial is turned up.

"The summer's the best time to do it because we have to have certain temperatures to do certain types of work. So with our repaving projects, the higher the temperature, the better," Shaw said.

From team meetings to water stations, beating the heat — and still meeting deadlines — comes down to trusting each other.

"Communication is key. The supervisors will have to trust the workers that, 'Hey, I need a break,' and also the workers need to trust their supervisors, like, 'I'm gonna be able to take a break and there's not gonna be a problem with that,'" Shaw said.

He said some of the hottest jobs, including those directly on or around asphalt, are often shifted to cooler parts of the day, as well.


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