Construction crews install a men's maximum security cell module at the new state prison in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.

Construction crews install a men’s maximum security cell module at the new state prison in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Price tag is now north of $800 million as construction costs continue to escalate; crews detail unique challenges of remote Salt Lake City site

SALT LAKE CITY — Crews in hard hats kept working despite a steady drizzle of rain pattering in the gravel and mud — but when lightning flashed in the distance followed by a low rumble of thunder, that was their cue.

“Oh, siren, where’s the siren?” said Marilee Richins, deputy director of the state Department of Administrative Services, who helped guide a tour of the new state prison’s construction site on Wednesday.

The alarm signals to construction crews to stop working and seek shelter — something they rarely do save for threat of lightning in the vast stretch of undeveloped Salt Lake City land where the new state prison was sited, west of the airport and miles away from any existing infrastructure.

“They work through rain, they work through snow,” said Michael Ambre, assistant director of special projects for the Division of Facilities Construction and Management, who oversees the prison’s construction.

Lightning is just one unique challenge crews face while building the new corrections facility to replace the Utah State Prison in Draper. Not only have crews had to start from scratch — bringing miles of roads and utility lines to the remote construction site — but they’ve also had to battle sinking soil and environmental sensitivity in an area known for wetlands and migratory birds.

To prepare for buildings — which just in recent weeks have finally begun rising — crews have had to prepare the ground by inserting drains and trucking in massive amounts …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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