Highland Drive bridge headed back to the I-80 bridge farm

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KSL team coverageThe Utah Department of Transportation's (UDOT) big plan for replacing bridges along I-80 hit a bump in the road this past weekend. Now, it's back to the bridge farm.

The bridge farm refers to that section along I-80 near 1300 East where UDOT has been building bridges. The first bridge was supposed to be put into place this past Saturday, but engineers noticed one of the beams had buckled and halted the move.

The beam that buckled is only a support beam carrying the bridge, and not a beam on the bridge itself. When engineers noticed the problem on Saturday, they decided to stop and try and figure out what it all meant.

Highland Drive bridge headed back to the I-80 bridge farm

Most everyone agreed the bridge could probably be put into place with no problems. However, since there would be 10 guys underneath the bridge removing wooden supports as it was being lowered into place, crews figured it would be best to be safe and get new support beams.

"We got 3 million pounds 20 feet in the air. It's not really a time to take chances, and we're just going to make sure of it and replace those beams," said John Montoya, UDOT's I-80 project manager.

Highland Drive bridge headed back to the I-80 bridge farm

So, tonight, the deck goes back to the farm. Montoya said, "We're going to go ahead and pull the bridge back, and take it back down to the bridge farm, and replace the carrying beams, the two temporary carrying beams, with new beams that are coming in."

Once they replace the beams, they can move the bridge back to Highland Drive, but they don't have any specific dates until the work is done. "We're dedicated to working any hours we need to, to make that happen," Montoya said.

The closure tonight will last a few hours. The project manager tells us the new beams should get here early next week, and he feels crews can make up the lost time.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com
E-mail: tcallan@ksl.com

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