SOUTH JORDAN — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is building three new interchanges on Bangerter Highway – 6200 South, 10400 South and 12600 South.
UDOT ran into one small problem. Two buildings near the corner of 10400 South and Bangerter were in the way of construction. The solution was for UDOT to purchase both buildings with the intention of demolishing them. But the owner of one of the buildings came up with a different idea.
Dr. Bret Osborne, DDS, approached UDOT with the idea of moving the building 50 yards away into an existing parking lot. UDOT spokesman John Gleason said everyone studied the idea and decided it would work.
Osborne did have one question: “What’s the worst thing that could happen during this process?”
The answer? Engineers said, “an earthquake.”
So, a few days after the two-story building was placed on wheels, Utah experienced the largest earthquake in 20 years — a 5.7 magnitude quake on March 18, 2020. Gleason said the building did move several feet, but there was no damage.
Gleason said the cost of demolishing and removing the debris of the building would have cost the state, i.e. taxpayers, about $250,000. Osborne repurchased his two-story building from UDOT for $100,000, then paid the cost to move it 50 yards away.
Gleason said, “This decision also kept a lot of materials out of the landfill, and [was] probably less expensive than constructing a whole new building.”
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