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Monday, February 18, 2013

Ogden Canyon Waterline Q&A with Ken Moffett, Ogden City Water Utility Manager

Why did Ogden City undertake this project in the winter?  The line we are replacing is needed during the warmer months of June through November. In order to meet the consumption needs of Ogden City, our only option is to work during the winter months, which brings additional challenges of harsh weather conditions that often affect workers and equipment.

Why is the project moving so slowly? With warmer temperatures we are now able to manage soil conditions and install about 200 feet of pipe a day, delaying us only five days behind our June 1 deadline. Record cold temperatures posed challenges at the beginning of the project. Equipment start-up times took longer and breakdowns were more frequent. Excessive frost and solid rock compounded the problem, resulting in unforeseeable underground conditions and unplanned night road closures.  A second night crew is being added to help get us ahead of the deadline.

Why so many traffic delays? Unfortunately we do not have the resources available to give real time estimates like the signage you often see along Interstate 15. We are broadcasting delay times through the project website at, Twitter@ogdencanyonh2o  and the project hotline at 801-675-8198. We will also be adding updates from employees who will be driving the canyon and logging drive time through the canyon seven days a week.
We knew this project would pose a major challenge, that’s why it has been put off for more than a hundred years. Without replacing the waterline, we would continue to lose over a million gallons of water a day.  Replacement of the line is vital.

We are committed to adapting the travelers’ concerns while staying within the constraints of the project. We thank you for your patience and concern for the safety or our workers and encourage you to email us with any questions or suggestions at

Kimberly Jensen
Ogden City
Marketing and Communication


Smattguy said...

The thing I don't understand is why this work could not have started in say October or November...or maybe even started mobilization in appears, but has never been said that the reason for the need to start in December is because of the water use in "warmer months"... suggesting this water is for irrigation for those not on the Pineview system. Pineview shuts down October 15th typically I believe so why the need to wait until December....did someone drop the ball on planning or engineering that caused a delay?....What's all this extra water use in November and October? With countless city newsletters talking about water conservation why not capitalize on that in order to get this project out of the ground earlier?

Also, what happened to the "idea" that indicated the project could be finished faster going to open trenching when the change in construction method was announced....

I don't think we are getting the whole story on this...using excuses of excessive frost (no kidding its winter), solid rock (no kidding it's in the canyon) had 100 years to figure this out and this is the result?...

To be fair, the guys in the field are doing the best they can with what they have been's the guys that handed it to them that deserve the criticism....

Jesper Finick said...

The frustration for some is why redo the Canyon route at all? Since any repair or replacement of the pipe in the future will tie up the Canyon road in the same manner, why not seek an alternative route for the pipe other then under the roadbed. That would eliminate the disruption of the Canyon traffic and the nightmare for all those affected. It may cost more, but it would solve most of the problems associated with this fiasco.