OGDEN — A significant construction project that involves repairing or replacing three bridges figures to tie up the Ogden Canyon Road next year.
Sometime in 2019, the Utah Department of Transportation will begin a nearly $4.7 million project on State Road 39 through the canyon. The state will replace or rehabilitate a bridge near the west end of the canyon, one near the Grey Cliff Lodge and one at the east end of the canyon, near Pineview Reservoir.
It’s not yet clear which bridges will be replaced.
UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders said the project is tentatively scheduled to start in the spring.
According to a project brief on UDOT’s website, the project is designed to improve safety in the canyon and prepare for additional, future improvements to the road. Much of the narrow road has little or no shoulder area and large trucks regularly hit concrete barriers along the route, knocking the barriers into the nearby Ogden River.
UDOT says construction will be completed in phases in an attempt to minimize impacts to drivers, as the road provides a critical path between the Upper Ogden Valley and greater Ogden metro area.
Aside from commuters who use the canyon road to go to and from their homes in the valley, the canyon is also heavily used by those seeking outdoor recreation opportunities. Skiers, snowboarders and hikers use the road to access resorts like Snowbasin and Powder Mountain, while Pineview and Causey reservoirs are also big outdoor draws.
Canyon businesses like The Oaks, the Gray Cliff Lodge and the Alaskan Inn also bring traffic through the canyon.
According to UDOT statistics, an average of more than 8,000 vehicles drove through the canyon daily in 2016.
Saunders said UDOT will support a full public involvement campaign — detailing residents and motorists about what to expect during construction — before the project begins.
Canyon residents and commuters have dealt with their share of construction work during the past half decade or so, as Ogden City and Pineview Water Systems have both undertaken major water infrastructure replacement projects during that time.
For several months in 2013, the road was under heavy construction as Ogden City replaced a 100-year-old water pipeline that ran underneath portions of the road. In 2016, Pineview replaced the water siphon that hovers suspended, 350 feet above the mouth of the canyon.
According to UDOT, $3.15 million in federal funding will be used to help pay for the project.