HUNTSVILLE — State Road 39 opened at 7:50 p.m. Friday after a landslide shut it down for almost 24 hours.
The Utah Department of Transportation closed the route just above the Pineview Reservoir Dam at 9:45 p.m. Thursday after 2,000 tons of rock, dirt and uprooted trees barreled down the mountainside.
Recent heavy rains contributed to the landslide.
No homes were threatened by the slide, and no injuries were reported.
Two vehicles were damaged Thursday night; one ran into the landslide, causing front-end damage, and another drove over the rocks and punctured its tires.
Traffic could not travel straight through S.R. 39 because of the slide. UDOT signs rerouted vehicles onto Route 158 or over Trapper’s Loop.
The UDOT workers, who numbered as many as 30 during the cleanup, were working against the clock.
Not only did commuters need a clear road, but the Zions Bank Ogden Marathon starts this morning. The route serves as the thoroughfare for the shuttles that take runners from Ogden to the starting point, said UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders.
“The whole day was a challenge,” said UDOT worker Jim Poulter.
Even as crews reset median barriers on the east side of the route at 5 p.m. Friday, smaller rocks came tumbling down the side.
The sound reminded Poulter of the danger he and his fellow workers were in Thursday night after they closed the road and started clearing it.
The night was so dark, he had to rely mostly on his hearing to know if more rocks were heading their way.
“(Some) were big enough to kill you,” Poulter said.
Whenever he heard the rocks, he would holler to the others to look up and move out of the way. They also had to leave the scene for a few hours and return at dawn when it was light and safe enough to continue, he said.
But after a night and day of hazardous work, the road is now clear.
However, the prolonged rainfall and snowmelt responsible for the landslide are also causing concern around the rising Weber River.
Ogden city is asking everyone to avoid using any trails adjacent to the Weber River. The city also advises not to walk or drive through floodwater and to keep children and pets away from the river.