OGDEN — A substantial construction project in Ogden Canyon that initially began in 2019 but was postponed during consecutive years is scheduled to start again.
Utah Department of Transportation Senior Communication Manager Zach Whitney said reconstruction of a mid-canyon bridge along State Route 39, the Ogden Canyon Road, will begin as early as Monday. Whitney said the work is a continuation of a UDOT project that began two years ago.
In spring 2019, UDOT began a bridge rehabilitation and replacement project through the canyon, set to completely replace one bridge and rebuild two others on the canyon road.
During the initial months of construction that begin in 2019, the state performed significant overhauls of bridges located near the mouth of the canyon and at the far east end, near Pineview Reservoir. A third bridge near the old Gray Cliff Lodge restaurant was scheduled to be replaced.
But an inspection of a house located about 30 feet away from the bridge revealed that the home’s foundation could be damaged during construction activities. The home, which was located at 516 Ogden Canyon along the banks of the Ogden River, was built in 1908 and had a stone foundation.
The state later opted to purchase the property, relocate the homeowner and demolish the house. According to Utah Transportation Commission documents, that measure cost the state some $900,000, which included acquisition and demolition of the property and the relocation of the owner.
UDOT had hoped to complete the project in 2020 but was thrown off schedule again due to COVID-19-related supply chain issues that surfaced during the early months of the pandemic.
With work scheduled to resume again, possibly within a week, Whitney said the final bridge replacement also will include improved drainage in the area. The new bridge is expected to last at least 75 years.
While the project proceeds, Whitney said access will remain open to the nearby Gray Cliff community. Traffic at the bridge will be reduced to a single lane and regulated by automated signals, which will create delays for motorists heading both east an west through the canyon.
Whitney said some overnight full closures are expected, with dates to be determined. He said speed limits will be reduced and motorists using the canyon should be patient and alert while traveling through the work zone. When construction is in full swing, alternate routes, like the North Ogden Divide Road or State Route 167, the Trappers Loop Highway, should be considered.
The project is expected to conclude sometime in the fall.
The canyon road provides an important link between the Upper Ogden Valley and greater Ogden metro area. The road is heavily used by those seeking outdoor recreational opportunities at places like Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, Pineview and Causey reservoirs and more.
UDOT says the bridge project will improve safety in the canyon and prepare for additional future improvements to the road.