Edge Homes demolishes remaining portion of partially collapsed Draper home

Apr 26, 2023, 9:01 AM | Updated: 2:24 pm

DRAPER, Utah — The remaining part of a home that collapsed and fell into a Draper ravine over the weekend was demolished Wednesday.

The demolition work started around 9 a.m. Springtime Road was closed to vehicles and pedestrians while crews were on scene, and police were on scene to help direct traffic.

“This work needs to be completed to improve the safety of this site and allow workers to begin assessing remediation efforts,” Draper city officials said.

The home is one of two that collapsed early Saturday morning, sending debris down the hillside. A third home is believed to be at risk of sliding off the filled-in ravine, according to Draper Mayor Troy Walker.

“There’s one more that we think is going to probably slide at some point. It’s in a really precarious situation,” the mayor said, appearing on KSL NewsRadio’s “Dave and Dujanovic,” noting that the home at risk of sliding is one of two additional homes on Springtime Road that were evacuated after Saturday’s landslide.

The other home that was evacuated is not considered to be in “that much danger” at the moment, he added. No other homes are listed as having the same risks as the four highlighted by the city.

Ann’s Trail and Clark’s Trail remain closed in the area. Draper police said anyone caught trespassing on closed trails or around the condemned homes and slide area may be subject to citation after finding people who have been going into the prohibited areas and around fencing.

Experts say what happened is more of a “man-made” problem than a natural disaster. Both homes that collapsed were built on top of engineered soil that filled in a part of the ravine in the area, so the land is reacting differently than regular soil in the city, Walker explained.

“This is not a landslide in a traditional sense, where native soil is giving way (because it’s) oversaturated. This is man-made, these are man-made lots, and they’re supposed to be engineered to hold the homes that are on them,” he said. “The homes that are in danger are the homes that are on that ravine.”

KSL TV chief meteorologist Kevin Eubank pointed out that a natural ravine is formed by historic water runoff, so it’s up to drainage or diversions to avoid the type of land erosion that’s happening at the moment.

The KSL Investigators found that Draper building officials sent an email to Edge Homes in June 2022 indicating they had begun investigating the sinking homes, which were built in December 2021, and there were “definite signs of [retention] wall and slope failure.”

Both homes were evacuated in October 2022 when the city revoked their certificates of occupancy, meaning no one was inside the structures when they collapsed. In a statement dated Nov. 30, 2022, Edge Homes President Gordy Jones said the company was “disappointed” by and “disagree(d) with” Draper’s decision to evict the families.

After the homes collapsed, Edge Homes issued a statement Monday, contending that “more analysis and data are necessary” to determine what went wrong, while also saying that this winter “amplified” the situation and prevented the company from stabilizing the two homes before they collapsed. Edge Homes purchased one of the two homes back in January; company officials said they’re seeking to work with the other homeowners affected at the moment.

“We are committed to finding the underlying cause of the problems to ensure they do not happen again,” company officials said. “We had hoped to perform a controlled demolition of the two homes in the near future, but that is no longer possible.

“The remediation, hillside stabilization, and beautification will now be our focus,” they added. “We will see this situation through to the end in order to protect our homeowners, their families and the community.”

Edge Homes also held a meeting with homeowners on Monday to discuss future plans for the area. Representatives from the company did not allow anyone to record the meeting, which lasted two hours.

Contributing: KSL.com’s Carter Williams and KSL NewsRadio’s Lindsay Aerts

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Edge Homes demolishes remaining portion of partially collapsed Draper home