OGDEN — A project to upgrade the distinctive 24th Street viaduct in Ogden is set to begin soon, with some significant traffic impacts expected to follow.
Utah Department of Transportation Senior Communication Manager Zach Whitney said work to rehabilitate the West Ogden bridge that leads to Interstate 15 could begin as soon as April 16.
The project, which according to UDOT’s website is valued at $7.2 million, includes rehabilitating the viaduct from A Avenue to Lincoln Avenue, which will extend the life of the bridge by more than 20 years. The state will also improve pedestrian access by converting the current metal staircase on the east side of the bridge to a ramp compliant with standards in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Whitney said the cross streets of A Avenue and Lincoln will remain open during the work, but noted that eastbound traffic will be reduced to a single, one-way lane across the length of the bridge. Westbound traffic will be closed entirely throughout the duration of the project and pedestrian access will not be allowed either.
Westbound motorists will be directed to a designated detour on 31st Street via Wall Avenue and Washington Boulevard. Whitney also said seven overnight and one weekend full closure are expected, with dates to be determined later. Construction work on the bridge is expected to last until sometime in the fall.
The project was initially slated to begin last summer, but UDOT ran into some coordination issues with the Union Pacific Railroad. The viaduct spans over the UP and Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner commuter rail tracks, just north of Ogden’s Union Station.
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said the project is a necessary one, despite the prolonged impacts to traffic and businesses operating out of the West Ogden Trackline Economic Development Area. The city-initiated development includes a mix of commercial, manufacturing and light industrial space, including a 51-acre outdoor recreation business park called the Ogden Business Exchange. A mix of local and international companies now do business out of the park, including Enve Composites, the Selle Royal Company, Roosters Brewing Company and Ogden’s Own Distillery.
“We know it’s going to be disruptive,” Caldwell said. “But it’s something that needs to happen and is really overdue. We’ve heard reports of pieces falling off of that bridge, so obviously it needs some work.”
Caldwell also said the work is a precursor of sorts for a larger project along the 24th Street corridor through West Ogden.
A $96 million project to build a full I-15 interchange at 24th Street is on the state’s list of future major transportation investments.
As I-15 and 24th Street are presently configured, motorists can reach 24th Street only from northbound I-15, and they can access only the southbound side of the freeway from 24th Street. Motorists cannot enter northbound I-15 from 24th Street, nor can southbound I-15 motorists exit at 24th Street.
Caldwell said the interchange project is another necessity, work that would greatly benefit the West Ogden development and Ogden’s downtown area.