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John Hollenhorst and Randall Jeppesen reportingDraper City and a developer seem to be ready to lock horns over a stretch of bad roads. A new engineering report details widespread deterioration of roads that are practically new. The question of who's at fault is already stirring talk of a lawsuit.
People buy homes in SunCrest, above the Point of the Mountain, for the elevation and the view. But under some of their streets, something's gone wrong. Pavement only a few years old looks ancient. On Traverse Ridge Road, networks of cracks extend long distances. Roads that should last 20 or 30 years are starting to look like the back of an alligator.
The city of Draper asked for a geo-technical review. Mayor Layne Long said, "They're starting to fall apart or break down earlier than you would expect."
An engineering firm made dozens of drill holes to investigate the problem. In their reports they say it isn't the paving job, it's the dirt underneath. The fill material under the road base is unsuitable, causing fatigue cracks throughout SunCrest subdivision. Drains that were supposed to be installed in some places apparently aren't there.
The city says it hasn't determined who's at fault, but SunCrest Development built the roads.
"The city has geotechnical standards, and those were agreed on. The report from C.M.T. Engineering indicates they may not have been built to those standards. And that's what we're reviewing right now," Mayor Long says.
Attorney for SunCrest, Bruce Baird, says the city approved the plans. "The city did ongoing inspections. It was tested by independent testing laboratories the whole way. It was approved by the city. SunCrest didn't do anything wrong here. We hope that the problems can be fixed, but it's not SunCrest's responsibility."
A spokesman for the engineering firm told said, "It's probably going to go to litigation," so he declined to comment. No estimate is available for how much it will cost to fix the roads. City officials say the conditions so far have not created a safety hazard.