BOUNTIFUL — One of Bountiful's busiest roads has been under construction for more than six months due to multiple setbacks — and now thanks to this week's winter storm, the project is facing another delay.
Crews were scheduled to lay pavement on 400 North between 200 West and 500 West on Tuesday, but snowfall postponed it until the weather gets warmer — hopefully later this week, said Vic Saunders, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation.
Saunders said the contractor still aims to complete that segment of the project by Dec. 31, but remaining work will then be paused until spring.
Bountiful city officials say they've received plenty of complaints from residents and commuters along 400 North.
"It's been a very difficult project for us because we don't have any control over it," said Paul Rowland, Bountiful city engineer. "We've had a lot of complaints. It's a busy road; 400 North carries somewhere around 2,500 vehicles per day."
With the road reduced to one lane in each direction and difficult street access, business owners say they've suffered, and they're growing increasingly discouraged with each delay.
"It's been quite a mess. It's totally cut off access to the front of my store," said Lauri Powell, owner of Bountiful Music at 365 N. Main.
Since construction started in May, Powell said sales have been 10 percent to 20 percent down from last year. She's also in the process of selling her business, and the construction is making it difficult, she said.
"(UDOT) promised it would be done in the fall," Powell said.
The project was originally slated to be completed in October, but the contractor had to tear up a stretch of newly laid concrete after it failed to meet UDOT inspection standards, Saunders said.
"Our goal is to make sure our infrastructure is the best, that the concrete we put down are a product that the taxpayers of Utah are satisfied with," he said. "Our inspectors said it would not meet that standard, so the contractor had to go back, remove the pavement and put it back in. That cost us a delay that was unfortunate and threw the whole schedule off."
Machinery issues caused an additional delay, Saunders said, but crews are still under contract to complete that segment of the road by the end of the year. Fees may be imposed on the contractor for each day beyond the deadline, he said.
"We realize with these delays that there's a project fatigue that sets in and people just want it to get done," Saunders said. "We understand that and we want it done, too."
In the meantime, Bountiful resident Wallace Mangus said he'll just have to continue parking his car on the street, even though he's got "a nice warm garage" with no street access.
"It's inconvenient. It's a muddy mess everywhere," Mangus said. "But we don't know who to be mad at. They've done the best they can. They've just run into some bad luck."2 comments on this story
Saunders said he doesn't know when the project will be completed next spring, but crews will take measures to protect the pavement laid this winter so it will be ready for a protective seal in the spring, he said.
Rowland encouraged commuters and businesses to be patient.
"We're all pretty frustrated with what's been going on, but the nature of construction is that sometimes there are unforseen conditions," he said.
Updates for the project can be followed on udot.utah.gov.
Contributing: Brianna Bodily