CLEARFIELD Chalk up yet another victim to high oil prices.
The lack of available asphalt is, in part, delaying reconstruction of the Center Street bridge until at least November and possibly next spring. The bridge was originally slated to be finished at the end of September.
"Given the number of road projects currently being completed around the state and the lack of asphalt availability, we were told by contractors who didn't bid that they simply didn't have the time or the asphalt to consider the project," said Scott Hodge, Clearfield public works director. "In essence, it's back to the drawing board."
Work on the bridge, which began in March, has been on hold since July due to completion of mandatory Utah Department of Transportation and federal bidding requirements. The sealed bid process produced fewer bids than anticipated.
UDOT, the Federal Highway Administration and Clearfield city officials found the bids significantly higher than 110 percent of the engineers' estimated costs, resulting in all of them being rejected.
FHWA procurement policies now require new bids before other options can be considered.
With the time extension, UDOT officials anticipate interested contractors will be able to complete other work allowing them to devote resources to the project.
"Our bridge's completion will then be contingent upon Mother Nature," Hodge said. "We need a sunny, 50-degree and rising day to lay asphalt. If an early winter sets in during late October or early November, the bridge may have to wait until spring to be completed."