KAYSVILLE — City officials are tired of waiting for the 200 North bridge to be fixed.
So tired, in fact, said Mayor Steve Hiatt, that the city is considering legal action as insurance companies argue over who will pay what percentage of the total cost to fix the bridge.
The $21 million structure crosses over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Utah Transit Authority’s FrontRunner commuter rail line.
The overpass was completed in June 2008 after two years of construction.
Kaysville paid $6 million in city funds, while Utah’s congressional delegation covered the rest of the cost by securing $15 million in federal funds.
But shortly after construction was completed, large concrete panels on the exterior of the bridge began to cave in.
“It was a lot more subtle than it is now, but it’s been happening for a few years,” Hiatt said.
Now, four years after the bridge was finished, a large section of panels can be seen caving in on the bridge’s south side.
Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Vic Saunders said the cause of the buckling is the continued settling of the fill material used to support the bridge.
UDOT and city engineers have inspected the bridge and determined the structure itself is sound.
The failing panels are essentially a cosmetic piece of the bridge, but they are large enough to cause serious injury if they were to fall on someone.
The affected area has been fenced off to prevent anyone from walking near the panels. Nonetheless, the city wants the problem fixed as soon as possible.
The bridge is not a UDOT road or structure, but because the project was so heavily federally funded, UDOT was required to oversee and manage the project.
Hiatt said the city is working closely with UDOT, the original contractor Commuter Rail Contractors, and two insurance companies — Arrowpoint Capital and Zurich American Insurance — in an effort to repair the defective panels.
“UDOT has helped us out quite a bit,” Hiatt said.
“As a city, we were just kind of left to deal with it. We had no power to be in the driver’s seat, but the state has come in and helped sort out how to move forward.”
A pair of insurance policies — one that covers general liability, and another that covers errors and omissions — were taken out on the bridge.
Hiatt said negotiations between the two insurance companies over who will pay for what are holding up the repair process.
While it does look like a settlement is on the horizon, Hiatt said, the city will file a lawsuit against the insurance companies and CRC if a resolution isn’t reached in the next 60 days.
“In my view, and probably in the view of most other people, if a contractor comes in and is paid $21 million to build something and it’s not up to par, the contractor should just come right in and fix it,” he said.
“But obviously, that hasn’t happened. We’ve gone through almost three years of bureaucratic haggling, and we’re at the point where we just want somebody to fix our bridge.
“Enough is enough.”