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More landslides on SR-14 raise repair costs

Published June 8, 2012 5:52 pm

Roads • Highway is major route between Cedar City and Cedar Breaks.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Morgan • The Utah Transportation Commission received more bad news Friday about attempts to rebuild SR-14 east of Cedar City, which was closed by a massive landslide last October. Other parts of Cedar Canyon are also slipping, and fixes to the new problems will cost millions more than expected.

In response, the commission decided at a meeting in Morgan on Friday to delay some emergency repairs on other lower priority roads, taking $2.5 million that had been targeted for them to pay for the additional work now needed on SR-14.

That highway is a major route between Cedar City and Cedar Breaks National Monument and other points east such as Kanab or Bryce Canyon National Park.

The bad news comes just a month after the commission had already added another $1.5 million to address newly appearing sliding in yet another part of Cedar Canyon.

Before the latest addition, the state had already committed to spending $15.5 million to stabilize the area and replace the highway destroyed by the slide. John Njord, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation, said some complicated juggling between different federal and state funds overseen by the agency is needed to finance the additional work.

For example, UDOT is shifting some federal emergency repair funds that were going to help repair other landslides on the Old Snow Basin Road in Weber County and Brown's Canyon Park Road in Daggett County to the SR-14 project, and using some other local reserve funds for those two projects instead.

The agency also is transferring some money from planned slide-repair projects in Wasatch and Duchesne counties temporarily. UDOT is applying for more federal emergency funding in hopes of completing those projects later.

ldavidson@sltrib.com