Portion of US-89 closed through MondaySomething tells me there's more to this story than we see here. What maintenance? How exactly did it undermine the road?
NORTH SALT LAKE -- UDOT is closing a portion of Highway 89 over the weekend to work on repairs.The closure will affect the northbound stretch of highway between the Beck Street ramp in North Salt Lake and Eagle Ridge Drive. UDOT says the closure comes after word that maintenance work on the Kern River natural gas pipeline in the area may have weakened the roadway subsurface. UDOT expects to reopen the road by 6 a.m. Monday. Drivers are advised to take Interstate 15 to 2600 South to avoid the closure.
Let's remember what we're talking about here. The Kern River pipeline is a natural gas pipeline that received special permission to cut through the foothills above Bountiful and run along the south end of North Salt Lake to save 20 miles on its way to California, in so doing crossing the Wasatch Fault line 6 times and coming within 50 yards of residences in North Salt Lake. The company was granted and recently put into place an increase of delivery from 1200 psi to 1333 psi.
Since they aren't telling us the whole story, we can only read between the lines. Something went wrong. Something unexpected happened. But what?
Here in North Salt Lake, we were assured when the pipeline was originally built that it was extremely safe and not a threat to anyone. I didn't buy it then and I don't buy it now. Our representative at the time, Jim Hansen, was silent and refused to become involved -- I think because he thought it might stain his anti-environment/pro big oil reputation. But that's just my thinking. Despite huge public opposition, the pipeline easily won the government approval it needed.
The pipeline right-of-way is easily visible as a long straight scar across the mountains and foothills of Bountiful and North Salt Lake going south, and then turning west and running past the site of the defunct gravel pit currently being developed commercially. Looking at Google maps, it appears that houses may be even closer now with more recent construction.
Also see an update to this post here. http://slcblues.blogspot.com/2011/02/kern-river-pipeline-work-closes-freeway.html