KAYSVILLE -- City officials are increasing their efforts to get their bridge repaired.
The city recently reached an agreement with URS Corporation to evaluate and determine the cost and means of repairing the 200 North bridge.
The city will pay up to $71,530 for the expert opinions.
City Manager John Thacker said the firm has been asked to answer two questions: When should the repairs be made, and how should they be made?
The firm will also provide the city with an estimated cost for the repairs.
"The purpose of this document is that it has become apparent that we need our own expert representing us," said Mayor Steve Hiatt. "This is not a contract to repair at this point, but rather an opinion on what it would take to get it completed."
The exterior concrete panels are buckling on the bridge, which spans the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and the Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner tracks.
The Utah Department of Transportation and city engineers have inspected the bridge and believe the issues are aesthetic, not structural.
"That's what part of this will do, determine whether it is purely aesthetic or structural. That's why we needed a geotechnical engineering expert to help us," Thacker said.
The city has been attempting to get the bridge fixed since shortly after it was completed in June 2008, only to encounter resistance from insurance companies.
The city has been working with UDOT and the original contractor, Commuter Rail Contractors, as well as the two insurance companies, Arrowpoint Capital and Zurich American Insurance.
Two insurance policies were taken out on the bridge, one that covers general liability and one that covers errors and omissions.
Hiatt explained that the companies are haggling over what percentage each must pay for the repair.
"We are now in a situation where it would not be responsible for us to rely on their engineer's assessment of what they think we should do. ... It would be too much of a risk to us to rely on the opinion of someone who stands to financially benefit from whatever solution is agreed upon," Hiatt said.
City Engineer Andy Thompson explained that once an agreement is reached with the insurance companies, the indication has been that the companies will hand Kaysville city a check to cover the costs of bridge repairs.
Thompson said he does not expect that the insurance companies will hire an engineer or a contractor to fix the bridge.
"They're not going to fix the car. They're going to tell us to get three estimates and fix it ourselves," Thompson said.
Hiatt said the city intends to ask for reimbursement of the cost of URS Corporation's services as part of an anticipated final settlement with the insurance companies.
The bridge originally cost $21 million, $6 million of which came from city funds. The remaining $15 million was covered by federal funds.
UDOT administered the project because of the large amount of federal money involved.