Clearfield bridge closed after soil slippage near embankment

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:28 PM

Bryon Saxton, Standard-Examiner Staff

CLEARFIELD — A broken sprinkler valve — possibly the result of vandalism — compounded by rain during the past several days, has caused a section of the Center Street overpass embankment to slough-off, forcing city officials to close the road for safety reasons.

“The Center Street overpass is closed due to part of the embankment on the southeast side being washed away on Sunday,” Clearfield City Councilman Kent Bush said in a Facebook post.

“A structural engineer recommended closure to vehicles for safety reasons and to avoid any more damage,” said Bush, who for years served as a Clearfield City planner.

The city council discussed the situation during its Tuesday night meeting.

City Manager Adam Lenhard said the council directed staff members to proceed with their bid process to hire a contractor to perform the repair work.

“We’re putting together the specifications for the bid right now,” Lenhard said. “The bid should go out sometime later this week.”

Lenhard said the bridge will cost approximately $50,000 to repair, and the work will likely take about a week to complete.

“Between the bid going out and the repair work, we anticipate the road will be closed for another couple weeks,” Lenhard said.

Lenhard and Bush both said the damage to the overpass appears to be cosmetic, and it’s structural integrity is still intact.

This is not the first time the Center Street overpass has been closed because of embankment damage. Shortly after the overpass opened, some of the embankment in settling began to fall away, resulting in city officials having to close the road until repairs could be made.

But this particular situation is totally unrelated to that, Lenhard said.

Because of an irrigation malfunction and recent rainfall, a portion of the southeast embankment of the Center Street bridge/overpass has sloughed off, officials said.

Located west of State Street in Clearfield, the bridge structure and the road are in good condition. At this time, however, the street/bridge has been closed to prevent further damage. The city is researching the best repair options and will open this portion of Center Street and the overpass as soon as possible, officials said.

At this time, vehicle traffic is being detoured to both 300 North and Antelope Drive/1700 South.

Even though the overpass is in good condition, Lenhard said, “Why take a risk? We thought, better safe than sorry.”

The Center Street overpass lately has served as a detour route for semitrailer traffic because of the roadwork taking place along stretches of State Road 193, causing further concern in needing to close the roadway, Lenhard said.

The city is well-aware the closure has disrupted some traffic flow, and it is doing all it can to remedy the situation, officials said.

It isn’t the main vehicle traffic using the overpass the city was initially concerned with, but the heavier truck traffic that would be traveling over the road if it remained open, Lenhard said.

To prevent the road from sustaining any further damage, Lenhard said, the city opted to close it.

Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or Follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.

Standard-Examiner reporter Mitch Shaw contributed to this story.

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