This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A different kind of bridge has appeared over Interstate 15 at the Point of the Mountain. It won't carry cars or trucks, just liquid concrete to where lanes are being rebuilt between current traffic lanes.
"It's a temporary bridge structure that's meant to carry a conveyor belt across mainline I-15" from an adjacent concrete plant at a sand and gravel pit, explained Tim Rose, director of "The Point" project for the Utah Department of Transportation.
Beginning Tuesday, it started carrying "concrete across I-15 to the middle of the freeway, where it is dumped into a hopper. Trucks pick it up" and take it to construction points, he said.
Without the bridge because of heavy truck traffic in the area with its several sand and gravel pits and concrete plants "we can't get our trucks safely in the work zone during the day. So it would be strictly nighttime work," Rose said.
With the bridge, "It allows us basically to run 24/7. This will allow them to work all day, double shifts."
Rose said using the bridge also should help air quality. "It will eliminate an estimated 15,000 truckloads" maneuvering around local roads and the freeway.
The conveyor belt is 20 feet wide. It has special design to ensure that no concrete falls on cars passing below. It also has cameras and other security measures designed to keep trespassers away and keep the bridge secure, Rose said.
The structure is a "Bailey bridge," a type of portable, pre-fabricated, truss bridge developed by the British during World War II. It was used extensively by British, Canadian and American military engineering units
Use of the bridge is part of a $252 million project to rebuild a 7-mile section of I-15 from 14600 South in Draper to State Road 92 in Lehi. It is replacing some of the oldest existing portions of the freeway, which had often buckled in recent years in extreme summer heat.
The project is also adding one to two lanes throughout that segment, plus new bridges and a new interchange design at 14600 South. Construction began in March, and is scheduled to be completed in September 2016.