UTAH FLOOD WATCH

UDOT crews prepare for roadway problems as water overflows

May 2, 2023, 2:30 PM

Overflowing rivers and streams can cause a lot of roadway problems but UDOT's John Gleason says his...

Heavy snow can be concerning for areas near a burn scar. (Wayne County Sheriff's Office)

(Wayne County Sheriff's Office)

SALT LAKE CITY — Overflowing rivers and streams can cause a lot of roadway problems but UDOT‘s John Gleason says his team and equipment are ready wherever floods strike. 

“We have maintenance stations across the state as well so that if there are emergencies or anything we need to respond to right away we can get our crews out there,” Gleason says.

He also says the Cottonwood Canyons will be a trouble spot for UDOT as snow slides can be heavy enough to take down trees and boulders onto the road. The same goes for Parley’s Canyon where smaller mudslides can still pack a punch. 

The department is preparing for roadway problems by focusing on past trouble spots.

“We look at historically where we’ve seen some issues. We’ve got excavators back hoses, loaders, pumps that we can station nearby so that we can respond very quickly,” he said.

Similarly, Gleason gives the example of US-89’s junction by Thistle. The same one that used to be a town before a flood knocked it off the map forty years ago.

He adds that despite UDOT’s preparations in areas where roads could get hit by floodwaters his team will have to be flexible in reacting to where the floods eventually do break through. 

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UDOT crews prepare for roadway problems as water overflows