A newly laid section of University Avenue has to be torn out after a driver broke through work barriers over the weekend and caused severe damage to the unset concrete.
Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins said the damage will set back production about one week. "We'll not be able to open that portion of the street on Wednesday as originally scheduled."The concrete was ruined early Saturday morning when a driver broke through work barricades between Fourth and Fifth South.
Provo Police Chief Swen Nielsen said that Troy W. Buchanan, 24, Orem, was arrested in connection with the incident. He was charged Monday with driving while under the influence and theft. His driver's license was also suspended.
Jenkins said the incident not only will affect businesses in the area but will cost the state money. "We figure there was between $50,000 and $100,000 worth of damage done."
Linda Walton, executive director for the Association of Involved Merchants in downtown Provo, said that a specialist was brought in by UDOT Monday to examine the damage. "They have already taken out a 30-foot section of the road. They are testing other pieces to see if they will also have to be replaced." Test results were expected later Tuesday.
Business owners along University Avenue said they will have to live with the delay.
"Of course it is disappointing to have the delay. It's a shame and a waste." said Steve Clifford, owner of Steve Clifford Motors. "However, our business has been very good during the construction."
Dennis Morganson, of the Pullman Bed and Breakfast, said crews were out in front of his place all day Sunday tearing out the ruined concrete, but that his business has not been hurt by the construction.
"Several of the businesses have had an increase in business. We haven't had problems because of reservations," he said.
Morganson is a block chairman with AIM to help businesses on his street during the construction period. "For some businesses this incident is very unfortunate," he said.