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Utah Named Best in Nation for Well-Maintained Bridges | News, Sports, Jobs





Isaac Hale, Special for the Daily Herald

Traffic drives along Interstate 15 under the Utah Valley University I-15 Pedestrian Bridge before a bridge dedication ceremony at UVU in Orem on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.

Many bridges across the United States have seen better days. Many of them are in poor or even worse conditions. It seems, however, that Utah is a bridge builder in maintaining and maintaining these special roads.

Whether owned by the federal government or local jurisdictions, Utah’s long-term efforts to keep bridges in good repair have not gone unnoticed.

On Friday, Utah was ranked best in the nation for the condition of its highway bridges. In a report released by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highways Administration, Utah’s bridges are considered the best maintained.

Utah has the lowest percentage of bridges on the National Highway System (which includes freeways and other key US highways) rated in “poor” condition among the 50 states.

Only 0.1% of Utah’s bridges are considered in poor condition due to the quality of the running surface, support beams, bases and columns.

Courtesy of Utah Department of Transportation

Replacement of the 1-15 bridge on US 89 in Lehi.

Under these measures, a state can be penalized if it has more than 10 percent of the state’s bridges in poor or less poor condition, according to the FHA.

“UDOT takes a proactive approach to maintaining Utah’s roads and bridges – we say ‘good roads cost less’ and our goal is to keep them in good condition, rather than waiting for repairs. are needed,” said Rebecca Nix, Utah Department. engineer in the management of transport bridges. “It helps our roads and bridges last longer, makes them safer and is a more efficient way to use taxpayers’ money.”

Only two National Highway System bridges crossing the Hive State were in poor condition at the time data was submitted to FHWA — the southbound I-15 bridge over East Nichols Canyon Road in Cedar City, which was replaced earlier this year, and the I-84 westbound bridge over 4400 south in Riverdale, scheduled for replacement in 2025.

The I-80 bridge over 2000 East in Salt Lake City was decommissioned in poor condition earlier this year, but its replacement is currently under construction as part of the I-80/I-215 reconstruction in Eastern County. Salt Lake.

As far as Utah County is concerned, there is only one bridge – at American Fork – which is in poor condition and money has already been spent to fix it.

With the expansion of Interstate 15 in Utah County over the past decade, a number of bridges have been upgraded or replaced. New motor vehicle and pedestrian bridges have been put in place from Lehi to Payson.

“There are 261 bridges in Utah County, 182 are owned by the state and the rest are owned by local agencies,” Nix said.

One of the most significant bridge construction projects in Utah County in recent years has been the I-15 Technology Corridor in Lehi.

The I-15 Technology Corridor was the final piece of the I-15 reconstruction in Northern Utah County, as the project included the final section of I-15 to be widened between Bangerter Highway and Spanish Fork. This construction included reconfiguration and the addition of bridges.

“This project, along with I-15 CORE, The Point, Access Utah County (all projects completed during Governor Gary Herbert’s tenure), and many others have created a transportation network that allows businesses to thrive,” said said UDOT spokesman John Gleason. “We’ve been working on I-15 in Utah and Salt Lake counties since before the 2002 Winter Olympics. That was one of the final pieces.

As part of this expansion, UDOT replaced significant amounts of aging infrastructure with new roadways designed to last another 40 years and bridges designed to last 75 years.

Bridges were built at Pioneer Crossing, along I-15 at American Fork, Pleasant Grove and the largest extended pedestrian bridge was built over I-15 from the Utah Transit Authority‘s FrontRunner Intermodal Station west of Orem to Utah Valley University on the east side of the highway.



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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion