Damage to cars from road construction could be contractor's problem

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BOX ELDER COUNTY -- You've probably noticed all the construction projects going on out there. Some Box Elder county residents are noticing all the damage it's doing to their cars.

If you get a rock chip as a result of a construction project, the most important step to take first is to find out who's in charge of the project -- if it's a city, county, or state UDOT project. If it's UDOT, like in this Box Elder County case, then there is a process you have to go through.

Every time a car passes by a spot of Highway 89 in Box Elder County that's under construction, loose gravel goes flying everywhere. Some residents there who drive through the spot every day are tired of it.

Perry residentBrandon Hansen owns two vehicles and says in the past couple of weeks, rock chips have cracked his windshield, broken his headlight, and put several small dings and chips in them. "They've both been barraged with rocks and have considerable damage," he said.

Hansen blames the contractor and UDOT.

So, we went to UDOT and asked them if anything can be done. Adan Carrillo, a spokesman with UDOT, says you have to go to the contractor first, who will either pay for the damage or deny it.

"We encourage claimants to obtain a formal denial from the contractor, and then bring it to a review board that has been formed within UDOT," Carrillo said.

That review board will then look at all the facts, including the time of day, direction of travel, and what type of work was being done at the time. They'll also look at the contractor's logs to see how often they had the construction zone swept for loose gravel and debris.

"Back in the day, there were some issues where people felt like they were being ignored. We created this review board to make sure that didn't happen," Carrillo said.

That UDOT review board is made up of UDOT workers and workers from several contractors. If they rule in your favor, they can deduct the cost of fixing your car from the contractor's project pay. If they rule against you, your only option then is to take the contractor to small claims court.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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