A bridge repair project under way on the northernmost section of I-84 in Box Elder County is going to cost significantly more than originally planned, and additional work could result in more traffic delays.
The Utah Department of Transportation started work in mid-April to repair bridges on a stretch of freeway between Howell and Snowville, from milepost 4 to milepost 18. The work includes removal of existing asphalt, fixing potholes and resurfacing the decks on all 11 bridges along that stretch.
The project was originally expected to cost about $4 million. However, a recent inspection found that the bridge decks had deteriorated beyond what was accounted for in the original cost estimate, said Ivan Hartle, financial program director for UDOT.
Hartle told the Utah Transportation Commission at a recent meeting that the project originally called for hydro-demolitions, a process in which water under high pressure is used to blast away old concrete and asphalt, on two bridges. The most recent inspection concluded that hydro-demolition is needed on 10 of the 11 bridges, which drives up the project cost and changes the way traffic must be managed while the work is happening.
In light of the new information, UDOT requested and was granted an additional $2.4 million to complete the project, bringing the total cost to $6.4 million.
Hartle said the additional work “also changed the plans for the maintenance of traffic during construction.”
“The original scope of the project was to keep traffic on the bridges while the repair work was in process,” he said, but now that might not always be possible during the hydro-demolition process.
Traffic has been funneled into one lane through the work zones on the east/southbound side of the freeway, and temporary traffic lights are in place on the overpasses in the area.
Motorists are advised to reduce speeds in work zones, and to be watchful for workers and equipment in closed lanes next to traffic. Wide loads are restricted to 11 feet in work zones.
The project is scheduled to be completed sometime in July.