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Croydon bridge reconstruction falls behind schedule

Mar 06, 2023 09:39AM ● By Linda Petersen

The Devil’s Slide Bridge two miles west of Croydon is under construction. Courtesy image/Morgan County

Reconstruction of the Devil’s Slide Bridge two miles west of Croydon is going to be interrupted, County Commission Chair Mike Newton told fellow commissioners at their Feb. 21 meeting.

“That project is behind schedule and the current situation is not real great,” he said. “The water flows that we’re going to have this year are definitely going to be greater than what was anticipated and that has had a detrimental impact on the project.”

County officials are working with UDOT and the contractor, Wadsworth Bros. Construction, to determine the best course of action, he said. East Henefer Road, which is being used as a detour while the bridge is closed, is “deteriorating pretty rapidly” failing in both Morgan and Summit counties, Newton said. “It has gotten exponentially worse in the last three days as we’ve had that warmup, and it’s no longer frozen; it’s coming apart in some places.”

The 10-mile road, much of which is in Summit County with a portion in Morgan County, is being torn up by traffic from the Holcim cement plant which currently sees about 30 trucks a day, he said. The plant will return to full capacity, about 100 trucks daily, around April 1, Newton added. 

Both counties had planned to redo their sections of the road this summer after the bridge was completed and the detour route was no longer needed. Now they are considering a couple of options depending on water flow, Newton said. If flow is lower and they can continue to work, the contractor may be able to get more of the bridge completed than originally anticipated. They could also place a temporary bridge in the location at a cost of more than $600,000, seven percent of which Morgan County could be responsible for, depending on negotiations with the contractor.  

“Worst case scenario, we could be on the hook for a portion of that cost which we’re very unhappy about,” Newton said.

Placement of the temporary bridge would allow traffic to cross the river at that point for the summertime. When water levels recede in the fall, construction could then recommence on the permanent Croydon bridge.

“Unfortunately that puts the project a lot farther out than was originally anticipated so we’re not real pleased with that either,” Newton said. 

If the road had not been used as a detour, an overlay would have sufficed for much of its surface, Commissioner Jared Anderson said. “Now it’s going to be a full reconstruct in a lot of areas.”

Newton expressed frustration with the project delays. UDOT and Morgan County officials do not know when the bridge will now be completed, he said. For certain, the bridge will not be finished by March 15, the original date it was expected to open.

“This is a big deal because that cement plant is the only cement plant in all of northern Utah. It supplies all the cement for every project, UDOT and otherwise, in this area,” he said.

“This bridge project was started over six years ago — the planning and process for this,” Newton said. “At that time, it was about a $2.5 to $3 million project. We’re now over $8 million and we’ve still got another $600,000 to $1 million, depending on where they go with all these costs, potentially on top of that.” 

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