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Riverdale overpass nearly finished

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RIVERDALE — The Riverdale Road overpass, the longest continuing state road project in Weber County, is finally nearing completion after 2 1/2 years of construction.

Larry Durrant, project director from the Utah Department of Transportation, said the totally rebuilt overpass should be open by Labor Day.

He said the $16 million-plus project started in the spring of 1998 and was to replace the previous overpass, constructed in 1950. Although the previous overpass was four lanes wide, it was badly deteriorating and considered a safety hazard as it crossed over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and the Weber River.

The biggest problem with the project was maintaining four lanes of traffic during the construction.

"It would have been done long ago if we could have closed down some lanes," Durrant said.

Workers narrowed the two lanes in each direction during construction but did keep them open with only occasional very brief delays when trucks had to cross the road.

He said workers had to essentially build two new halves of the overpass, demolish the old structure and yet keep all traffic lanes open.

Riverdale Road is the busiest artery into Ogden, handling traffic from Roy, I-15 and Hill Air Force Base and moving it to Washington Boulevard.

"It has always been a busy road," Durrant said. "It carries a lot of cars."

He said the new overpass is 775 feet long and will be capable of expansion to six lanes in the future, though it will remain at four lanes until the rest of Riverdale Road is widened. That expansion work could begin in as little as five years.

The new overpass should last for at least 50 years, Durrant said.

Area businesses have probably suffered the worst from the construction work, and Durrant said they should be delighted with the new access the road provides. That's especially true for Classic Skating, which will have a new eastern access road to its waterslide area.

E-mail: lynn@desnews.com