June 21st, 2010

Spiffying up the Alpine Loop

Uncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.

The Alpine Loop is a road with a view. Here, Mt.Timpanogos is seen snow covered on a crisp, clear afternoon in June.

UDOT Maintenance workers, left to right: Mike Cole, Brian Allen and Ron Prestwich

At over 8,000 feet, the Alpine Loop is too high in Utah’s Wasatch Mountain range to stay open all winter. Snow, ice and wind cause crews to shut gates on either end of the popular scenic route between fall and spring.

To close the road, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) crews check the area and lock the gates. Opening the Alpine Loop requires some housekeeping, even though it’s one of the easier of the high country roads to maintain.

Most of the work consists of clearing rocks and fallen trees from the road. But a few years ago, crews quickly replaced a failed culvert.

SR-92, or the Alpine Loop which connects American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon. The road is a popular scenic route in Utah.

Neil Lundell, Provo Canyon Station Supervisor for UDOT, stands by a culvert that keeps water off the road. This culvert had to be replaced two years ago. UDOT maintenance workers completed the job, which included re-directing the creek, in less than a week.

Lots of trees, broken from the weight of the snow, are found on the road in the spring. UDOT workers remove the trees before the road opens.

Forest Service buildings are pictured above. The U.S. Forest Service workers often help with the clean-up work to open the road. UDOT also coordinates when to open the road with the Forest Service.

A stunning view of Mount Timpanogos is a good reason to take this scenic route.

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Responses to “Spiffying up the Alpine Loop”

  1. How did Maintenance know what size culvert to use? It looks like a box culvert. I’m guessing that they replaced a circular metal culvert. That was a guess.

  2. Hi Jesse, Region three engineers studied the flow of the creek and determined the size of the culvert. The old culvert was made up of 30″ circular stacked culverts that “got plugged off” according to Station Supervisor Neil Lundell. The road washed out, hence the need for the project.

    Catherine Higgins at June 22, 2010 1:17 pm
  3. Good story. And I admit, I was fishing for a compliment for the “engineers” who determined the required size of the box culvert. Was that part of the work that took less than a week? If so, let’s give those R3 engineers a round of applause too.

  4. The work done in a week was carried out by maintenance workers. You are right though, engineers deserve part of the credit and I bet that culvert does not fail in our lifetime (yours, anyway). Here on planet UDOT we all have an important role to play. And when we do a good job, the public benefits.

    Catherine Higgins at June 23, 2010 4:08 am
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