Water line rupture causes mudslide in Ogden Canyon (Video)

Jul 11 2013 - 7:45am

Images

NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner 
Utah Department of Transportation workers walk past barricades that were pushed into the Ogden River by a mudslide on Wednesday in Ogden.
REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner
Mitch Child, with Wasatch Barricades, shovels mud where a landslide knocked over barricades on Ogden Canyon Road on Wednesday.
A police officer turns vehicles around from Ogden Canyon Road in Ogden, Wednesday July 10, 2013. The road is scheduled to be closed for 24 hours. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Work crews clean up a landslide that knocked over barricades on Ogden Canyon Road in Ogden, Wednesday July 10, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner 
Utah Department of Transportation workers walk past barricades that were pushed into the Ogden River by a mudslide on Wednesday in Ogden.
REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner 
Work crews clean up a mudslide that knocked over barricades on Ogden Canyon Road on Wednesday.
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner 
Utah Department of Transportation workers walk past barricades that were pushed into the Ogden River by a mudslide on Wednesday in Ogden.
REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner
Mitch Child, with Wasatch Barricades, shovels mud where a landslide knocked over barricades on Ogden Canyon Road on Wednesday.
A police officer turns vehicles around from Ogden Canyon Road in Ogden, Wednesday July 10, 2013. The road is scheduled to be closed for 24 hours. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
Work crews clean up a landslide that knocked over barricades on Ogden Canyon Road in Ogden, Wednesday July 10, 2013. (REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner)
NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner 
Utah Department of Transportation workers walk past barricades that were pushed into the Ogden River by a mudslide on Wednesday in Ogden.
REYNALDO LEAL/Standard-Examiner 
Work crews clean up a mudslide that knocked over barricades on Ogden Canyon Road on Wednesday.

OGDEN -- Ogden Canyon was closed Wednesday after a water line ruptured, causing a landslide that covered a large portion of the canyon road.

The slide occurred around noon, approximately 200 yards east of the waterfall at the mouth of the canyon.

As of 5:45 p.m. the slide was cleared and the canyon was reopened.

The break in the 24-inch water line, which was operated by Ogden city and scheduled for replacement, caused a torrent of water and debris to spill upon State Road 39, the Ogden Canyon Highway.

Several concrete safety barriers lining the highway were knocked into the Ogden River and had to be removed and replaced along the roadway before traffic could be safely restored.

Kenton Moffett, Ogden city's water utility manager, was on the scene when the pipeline burst and the subsequent landslide began.

"There was just a ton of force rushing down the mountain," Moffett said. "You saw what it did to those big cement barriers -- it moved them like they were nothing. We're just thankful nobody was hurt."

The slide occurred in an unpopulated area of the canyon, so no homes were damaged either.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Vic Saunders said that because of the narrowness of this section of Ogden Canyon, the highway had to be closed during the cleanup and barrier replacement efforts.

"We want to make sure it's totally safe before we start letting people through here again," Ogden City Engineer Justin Anderson said as the cleanup began.

Officials said the portion of the road that was covered by the slide seems to have held up pretty well.

All of Ogden Canyon east of the slide area remained accessible from Huntsville, so motorists used Interstate 84 and SR-167, the North Ogden Divide and the Trappers Loop Highway to access homes and recreational areas in the canyon.

Ogden city has been working for the past five months to replace the water line that failed, and work on the new line was recently completed.

Moffett said the incident won't significantly delay progress on the project, which is scheduled to be complete by the end of July.

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