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UDOT to install new drainage system in Parleys Canyon

Published: Sunday, July 5 2015 4:04 a.m. MDT

At the mouth of Parleys Canyon on I-80, UDOT will replace a two-mile section of a massive 8-foot-diameter metal pipe that carries Parleys Creek under the interstate. The new concrete pipe, which is 5 ½ feet in diameter, is being built at Geneva Pipe in Orem. It has a 100-year service life. (Jay Dortzbach, Deseret News) At the mouth of Parleys Canyon on I-80, UDOT will replace a two-mile section of a massive 8-foot-diameter metal pipe that carries Parleys Creek under the interstate. The new concrete pipe, which is 5 ½ feet in diameter, is being built at Geneva Pipe in Orem. It has a 100-year service life. (Jay Dortzbach, Deseret News)

PARLEYS CANYON — The Utah Department of Transportation is starting work on one of its biggest projects of the summer.

At the mouth of Parleys Canyon on I-80, it will replace a two-mile section of a massive metal pipe 8 feet in diameter that carries Parleys Creek under the interstate. The old pipe, which is 30 to 40 feet below the freeway in places, is failing, UDOT said.

"(It's) over 50 years old right now, and many sections of the pipe are deteriorated quite substantially," said Tim Rose, UDOT's Region 2 deputy director.

Over the next five months, UDOT will spend $9.5 million to replace that culvert.

Geneva Pipe in Orem is building the new concrete pipes to replace old metal pipes in Parleys Canyon under I-80. (Jay Dortzbach, Deseret News) Geneva Pipe in Orem is building the new concrete pipes to replace old metal pipes in Parleys Canyon under I-80. (Jay Dortzbach, Deseret News)

"It will be off the side of the road, so it will be easier to clean and service, and those kinds of things," Rose said.

The new concrete pipe is being built at Geneva Pipe in Orem. Manufacturers said it should last much longer than the old corrugated metal pipe that's currently in the canyon. They are making 18 sections of pipe a day, headed toward a total of 871 sections.

"Concrete pipe is the most sustainable product they can use. It has a 100-year service life, a proven 100-year service life," said Vince Bussio, president of Geneva Pipe.

To create the pipe, work crews at Geneva cast the 12-foot sections in vertical forms; metal caging inside adds strength. Bussio said they rigorously test the pipe to make sure it's up to standards.

Geneva Pipe in Orem is building the new concrete pipes to replace old metal pipes in Parleys Canyon under I-80. (Jay Dortzbach, Deseret News) Geneva Pipe in Orem is building the new concrete pipes to replace old metal pipes in Parleys Canyon under I-80. (Jay Dortzbach, Deseret News)

"This pipe weighs about 25,000 pounds, so it's very, very heavy. And it has rubber gasket joints to make sure that we are not leaking the storm drain water out," he said.

The pipe needs to handle heavy run-off in the spring and keep that water off the road.

"That's what this is about: it's the safety of the roads and the safety of the people traveling down Parleys Canyon," Bussio said.

Approximately 46,000 vehicles go up and down the serpentine canyon every day, which can make the repair challenging.

During construction, Rose said three lanes of traffic will be open at peak times, weekends, and for special events. Project completion is estimated for November.

UDOT crews will be replacing a two-mile section of pipe that carries Parleys Creek under Interstate 80. The project will take several months to complete, and drivers should expect delays. (Jay Dortzbach, Deseret News) UDOT crews will be replacing a two-mile section of pipe that carries Parleys Creek under Interstate 80. The project will take several months to complete, and drivers should expect delays. (Jay Dortzbach, Deseret News)

There will be no road construction statewide this holiday weekend, but there will be orange barrels in places where projects are ongoing.

Email: jboal@deseretnews.com

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