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Croydon, Morgan County — The height of the temporary bridge over the Weber River is a concern for people floating on the water. They are concerned about safety ahead of the busy weekend.
“There will be hundreds of people in this parking lot,” said kayaker Cody Redmond.
Large crowds are expected along the river in Croydon, Morgan County on Independence Day.
“College students and high school students alike,” said Redmond.
Redmond said there was one big problem.
“They’re ignorant, they’re just unknowingly coming into this corner,” warns Redmond.
A temporary bridge over the Weber River is just inches from the water.
“It’s like ruining the recreation of the whole sport,” added Redmond.
“The bridge that was there before was approaching 100 years old,” said Mitch Shaw, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation.
UDOT officials said areas with heavy traffic needed alternative sites.
“The height of the bridge doesn’t change much. In fact, when the permanent bridge is completed, the new bridge will be only one foot taller,” Shaw said.
Redmond said the river level allowed him to go under the old bridge.
“I used to be able to go down to about 500 cfs in a kayak,” said Redmond.
He said the signs weren’t enough.
“I don’t want to risk my own kids in, and I wouldn’t risk anyone else in for that matter,” Redmond said.
Redmond is concerned that warnings may be missed, especially by tube drinkers.
“It matters what the sign says,” he says. “On many rivers I’ve been to, there’s danger downriver and a sign 100 yards up says ‘100 yards, portage left’. ‘It’s dangerous’ or ‘Exit now.’
UDOT officials said they have no plans to add more signs but will investigate complaints.
Shaw added that anyone who enjoys the outdoors should be prepared.
“People need to be prepared to face what might happen when the current is this high,” Shaw said.
Construction of the permanent bridge is scheduled to begin in the fall when the river levels drop.
The crew told KSL-TV on Monday that work on the temporary bridge will continue throughout the week. At this time, people have to get out of the river, cross the bridge and get back into the water.