Kaysville overpass frustrating city officials

Published: Monday, Oct. 8 2012 5:53 p.m. MDT

Vehicles travel on the 200 North overpass in Kaysville, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

KAYSVILLE — A Kaysville bridge seems to be buckling at the seams, but engineers say it's not as bad as it looks.

But the problem has city leaders saying they will pursue legal action if someone doesn't step up and fix it.

The bridge located at the 200 North overpass was built in 2008. Both state and city engineers have said the road itself is safe, but a close inspection indicated that large panels on both sides of the structure appear to be in need of repair.

Kaysville officials are trying to determine who is responsible for making the repairs, but no one seems to know for sure. While the 4-year-old bridge looks normal to the average passing driver, what lies beneath could be a problem.

Resident Crystal Gammon said she is concerned about the damage.

"You wonder what's going on," she said, "if it's structural. The more jutted out (the panels) become, they're going to become loose, and there is a lot of traffic coming down that road."

Mayor Steve Hiatt said the bridge cost more than $21 million to construct.

"What we're concerned about most as a city is the exposure and liability to our taxpayers," the mayor said.

Hiatt said he believes the builder should simply step up and repair the panels.

"That's ultimately what we're pushing for, and we've run out of patience,” he said.

Instead, the responsibility is currently in dispute between two insurance companies and the contractor.

As for the road itself, both the city and the Utah Department of Transportation agree that drivers do not need to worry.

"The bridge is totally safe," UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders said.

As tough as it may be to look at, it is best to wait for the pieces to stop settling before any repairs are made, Saunders said.

“A little bit of patience pays off in the long term," he said. "We understand (the) frustration. (Motorists) want their construction project completed. But it would not be in the best interest of taxpayers if we went ahead and rushed to a conclusion now."

In the meantime, UDOT engineers are monitoring the situation closely.

Hiatt said if the contractor and insurance companies are unable to figure out who is responsible for paying for the repairs in the next two months, the city will take legal action.

"At the end of the day, when you pay $21 million for something, you want it done right the first time,” the mayor said.

The city initially put $6 million into the bridge, with the remaining funds coming from federal grants secured by UDOT.

UDOT officials said some structural shifting on bridge projects is common but tough to predict — which is part of the reason the agency takes out insurance on each project.

Contributing: Jasen Lee

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