How long is too long for a road to be closed for construction?
Some residents of unincorporated Davis County, west of Syracuse and living southeast of the sewer plant, have had to redefine the word patience for the past 16 months.
The intersection of 2700 South and 3000 West, as well as 2700 South to the west, have been torn up and closed periodically since August 2006 for the installation of a main sewer trunk line.
"It's really a mess," said Norma Beazer, who lives west of the closed intersection along 2700 South. "We can hardly get out of our driveway. ... We're confined. This is just taking a long time."
The problem has been worse in recent weeks, because not only is the intersection blocked off, but the main road to the north, 1700 South a continuation of Antelope Drive is also closed for the installation of a pedestrian underpass.
"That's ridiculous," Beazer said. "Both intersections closed at the same time."
Resident Stanley Hamblin sits on the North Davis Sewer District board and said the project delays have been unavoidable.
"In all fairness, they've had to go through a lot to place the pipe," he said. "It's certainly an inconvenience. I practically have to go to Idaho to get to church."
His key concern is the poor timing of the 1700 South closure at the same time.
Dan Walker, director of human resources for Geneva Rock, the sewer project's contractor, said it was estimated to be a 500-day project from the outset involving 22,000-pound lengths of pipe.
"It's kind of an exciting project," he said. He added that the company knows how much residents have been inconvenienced, and the company wants to get the work done as soon as possible.
The current completion date is Dec. 31.
Geneva Rock has had two crews working 12-hour shifts but had to almost completely shut down its work during October to allow access southward along 3000 West to the Black Island Farm corn maze. In addition, Geneva has had to work around storm drains that weren't on any maps, a high water table, around-the-clock pumping and shoring-up efforts.
The 84-inch main sewer trunk line for Syracuse and Layton is also being installed close to an existing sewer line.
For the Beazers to drive east into Syracuse, they have to go west to 4000 West and take about a two-mile-long detour. With 1700 South closed, that diversion has increased to nearly three miles. Getting to the RC Willey store, about a mile away from the Beazers, now requires a 4.4-mile drive.
Beazer said dust has also been a problem. They suspect the deep well they use to water their farm animals has also been affected by the construction.
"But I guess they have to do the work," she said.The 1700 South road, just west of Bluff, is expected to be closed to all traffic through Nov. 30. Some of the torn-up road has now been repaved.