OGDEN — The transportation department is set to begin nearly $4.7 million worth of construction work on the Ogden Canyon Road this spring.
In April, the Utah Department of Transportation will begin a project to replace one bridge and rehabilitate two others on State Route 39 through the canyon. The bridges are located near the west end of the canyon, near the Grey Cliff Lodge and at the east end of the canyon, near Pineview Reservoir.
The bridges are not those seen adjacent to the road leading into small communities in the canyon, but are part of SR 39 itself, built into the roadway as it passes over the Ogden River.
According to UDOT’s website, the project is designed to improve safety in the canyon and prepare for additional, future improvements to the road.
Two years ago, the transportation department wrapped up a nearly three-year study of the canyon, which looked at ways to make the road safer, provide active transportation choices and preserve the environment.
UDOT’s final report on the road gave direction on speed, safety and functional improvements and for a “shared use” trail. Most of the narrow canyon road has limited or non-existent shoulder area, making cycling through it difficult. Large trucks often hit concrete barriers built onto the road, knocking them into the river.
Among other longer term suggestions, the report recommended flattening curves, widening portions of the road and repairing the three bridges.
UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said crews are working in the canyon this week to prepare for the April start, but that preliminary work should not impact traffic.
When principal construction starts in the spring, it will be completed in phases to minimize impacts to drivers, according to UDOT’s website.
The canyon road provides an important passageway between the Upper Ogden Valley and greater Ogden metro area and is heavily used by those seeking outdoor recreational opportunities at places like Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, Pineview and Causey reservoirs and more.
Saunders said he’s unaware exactly how the bridge work would impact the Ogden Marathon, which is scheduled for May 18, but said state roadwork often conflicts with community events and solutions are normally hashed out without much difficulty.
The project is scheduled to be completed in October.
You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.