Kayakers: Temporary bridge over Weber River is too low, dangerous
Jun 26, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:19 pm
CROYDON, Utah — The height of a temporary bridge over the Weber River is concerning for people floating in the water. They’re worried about safety ahead of the busy holiday weekend.
“There’s going to be hundreds of people in this parking lot,” said kayaker Cody Redmond.
Huge crowds are expected along a stretch of the river in Croydon on the Fourth of July.
“The college students, the high school kids.”
Redmond said there’s one big problem.
“They’re just going to come in blind to these corners and not have any idea.”
The temporary bridge sits just inches about the water.
“It kind of ruins the recreation of the whole sport.”
Some kayakers and rafters are concerned about the height of this bridge over the Weber River in Croyden. They say the couple of signs upstream don’t give people enough warning to get out of the water before going under.
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“The bridge that was there previously, it was approaching 100 years old,” said Mitch Shaw, a spokesperson with the Utah Department of Transportation.
UDOT officials said the highly-trafficked area needed a replacement.
“The bridge height is not that different. In fact, the new bridge that we’re installing when the permanent bridge is finished, it’s going to be a foot higher,” Shaw said.
Redmond said he was able to go underneath the old bridge, depending on how high the river was.
“Before, you could go under with a kayak up into about 500 cfs.”
He said the signs aren’t adequate.
“I would not let my kids enter at their risk for that, or anyone else for that matter.”
Redmond worries, especially if people are drinking on tubes, that they might miss the warnings.
“It matters what they say on those signs,” he said. “A lot of rivers that I’ve gone to, they have hazards below. There’s a sign 100 yards above saying, ‘Portage left. Mandatory portage. Danger.'”
UDOT officials said there are no plans to add more signage, but they’ll look into the complaint.
Shaw added that everyone enjoying the outdoors needs to come prepared.
“People need to be prepared to encounter the things that might happen when the flows are this high like they are now.”
Construction of the permanent bridge is set to begin in the fall when the river levels are lower.
Crews told KSL TV on Monday that they will be continuing their work on the temporary bridge all week. For now, people will need to climb out of the river and walk past the bridge to get back into the water.