24th Street bridge overhaul to be scaled way back with $17M cut

Thursday , April 12, 2018 - 5:00 AM

OGDEN — A major overhaul of the 24th Street bridge won’t happen after all.

At least, not any time soon.

Last fall, the Utah Department of Transportation announced it would conduct an in-depth study of the bridge, known locally as “the viaduct.” The study was to conclude with a $26 million rehabilitation of the structure, as the bridge was said to be in disrepair and in need of an expansion to accommodate increases in growth and traffic anticipated for west Ogden.

• RELATED: UDOT to study 24th Street bridge, $26 million reconstruction project likely

The $26 million version of the project had already been approved by the Utah Transportation Commission, with construction set to begin in 2020. But UDOT now says the recently completed feasibility study indicated a project of that scale isn’t needed. 

UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said the original project called for complete deck replacement, but the state has determined that isn’t necessary and the rehabilitation can be completed in a less expensive manner.

“The bridge is sound,” Saunders said.

UDOT will now ask the transportation commission to approve a nearly $17 million price reduction for the project. If the commission grants approval (which is expected) the state will allocate $1 million to the project in 2019 for design work, then another $8.5 million in 2020 for construction. 

• RELATED: After 50 years, Ogden's 24th Street interchange project tentatively funded

About $1.5 million will be used to build an ADA-accessible ramp on the east side of the bridge. Right now, there’s only a set of steep, metal stairs that allow pedestrians to use the sidewalk that runs on the south side of the viaduct.

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Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell and City Engineer Justin Anderson said the project has been a UDOT-led undertaking and the change in scope won’t have much impact on the city.

Anderson said the reduced scope could mean fewer traffic impacts as the work is being completed, an important consideration as Ogden continues work on its Trackline redevelopment project.

The development includes 122 acres between 24th Street and Middleton Road from the railroad tracks to G Avenue. It will include a mix of commercial, manufacturing and light industrial space, including a 51-acre outdoor recreation business park called the Ogden Business Exchange.

• RELATED: Demolition of Swift Building delayed while Ogden City tries to secure federal grants

Part of the work includes the demolition of the old Swift Building, which abuts the bridge immediately to the north. The building is scheduled to come down sometime this year.

Saunders said the scaled-back bridge project has no impact on the construction of a long-awaited full Interstate 15 interchange at 24th Street. Long lobbied for by Ogden City officials, the $96 million interchange project was funded in 2017 when the Utah Legislature approved a $1 billion bond to fund or accelerate certain transportation projects.

Construction on the interchange is slated for 2023.

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at facebook.com/mitchshaw.standardexaminer.

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