Damaged rail bridge to close 31st Street freeway entrance for most of March

Tuesday , March 06, 2018 - 5:00 AM

OGDEN — The 31st Street on-ramp to southbound Interstate 15 will be closed sporadically over the next month as crews repair a damaged bridge in the area. 

Beginning Thursday, March 8, Utah Department of Transportation crews will repair the rail bridge that crosses the freeway near 31st Street in Ogden. The work will require the southbound I-15 ramp there to be closed nightly from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. 

UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said the closures will continue until March 28. A full weekend closure of the on-ramp is projected to begin March 16, with the ramp scheduled to open again for daytime use on March 19.

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Saunders said dates and times of construction are subject to change based on weather conditions and equipment availability. Motorists should check UDOT’s traffic website at udottraffic.utah.gov for updates.

During the closures, motorists should use the 24th Street and Riverdale Road freeway interchanges to access southbound I-15.

On Oct. 20, the bridge in question was struck by an aerial lift that was being carried by a trailer on I-15. 

Saunders said the initial incident was not reported immediately to the state, but during a routine bridge inspection by UDOT’s Structures Division in January, inspectors discovered damage to one of the bridge’s support structures. 

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The bridge carries Union Pacific Rail tracks — part of a spur line used to deliver locomotives and other industrial equipment to the U.S. Army's locomotive repair facility at Hill Air Force Base — but is owned, maintained and inspected by UDOT.

“Since UDOT owns all bridge structures on our roadway system or those that cross our roadway system, we inspect them,” Saunders said.

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Saunders said when UDOT discovered the damage, Union Pacific was immediately notified. The rail company has temporarily halted all traffic over the structure until the repair work is finished.

The Federal Highway Administration does not require the transportation department to inspect railroad bridges, but UDOT’s Structures Division inspects all of them that cross over state highways for operational and safety issues. The division doesn’t inspect rail bridges that cross over local government roads.

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/MitchShaw.StandardExaminer.

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