Posts Tagged UDOT
KUTV is reporting that UDOT told Governor Gary Herbert’s Chief of Staff about the $13 million settlement to a losing bidder on a UDOT project prior to the governor’s press conference where he denied any knowledge of the settlement.
It was Monday, September 13th, that Governor Herbert held a news conference.
At that news conference, Herbert defended himself against accusations that his office is for sale.
But it was also at that same news conference, that UDOT’s Executive Director, John Njord, admitted the 13 million dollar payment had been made.
Almost immediately, the governor was asked if he knew about the payment?
Media: “Were you aware of that payment, governor?
Gov. Herbert: “No, this is the first I heard of it.”
But was this the first time the governor’s staff had heard about it?
Well, a UDOT spokesperson now tells ABC 4 it is not.
He also tells ABC 4 that in a Thursday, Sept. 9th phone conversation, four days before the governor’s news conference, Njord told the governor’s chief of staff, Jason Perry, that it had paid a settlement.
To which ABC 4 immediately asked, “Was the 13 million dollar figure discussed during that conversation?”
We were told, no, it was not.
Curiously, UDOT says Njord told Perry the exact amount Monday morning (again, Sept. 13th) before the governor’s 2pm news conference took place.
Which raises this question?
If the governor’s chief of staff was told about this before the governor’s news conference, did he really not tell the governor about it?
I can come up with only two possible explanations: Either the guv’s Chief of Staff is totally incompetent for not giving the governor this very important information, knowing it was the topic of the press conference. Or Herbert is lying.
What do you think?
It was about 11:30 a.m. yesterday I began hearing the sirens. There were a lot of them and they went on for a long time. I saw the medical helicopter. I knew it was something bad and was probably an incident on the freeway. I guessed right. The third accident in two days in almost the same location in that construction zone on I-15 at the Beck Street overpass. This one worse than the earlier two, involved multiple cars and most unfortunately, a fatality.
Reports are blaming inattentive drivers for all three crashes. But I drove this stretch on Friday when it was first reconfigured, and I can tell you, it’s more than that. I was extremely attentive, and yet I felt I was driving on a test course designed to not only test my driving skill but to trick me into difficult maneuvers. UDOT needs to relook at how they’ve temporarily configured and marked this stretch. It is extremely confusing. Lanes seem to lead right into cones and walls. Exits and entrances to the freeway are in new and unexpected locations. And I have no idea what the whole purpose is for that funny double-S part, except to give us all a Lagoon-like thrill. It is poorly designed.
Yes, inattentive drivers are going to be in trouble there. But I think much can be done to mitigate the chances of an accident. Another thing that must be stepped up is speed enforcement. Nobody slows down in that zone. If you drive the I-80 construction, you see a lot of enforcement there, and drivers for the most part are adhering to the 55 MPH limit. Not so at Beck Street. I think the problem is that UHP officers’ patrol routes do not cross the county lines and this construction is right on the Davis/Salt Lake county line. I’ve seem them from either direction making their turnarounds and missing this zone altogether. People are driving in excess of 70 MPH in this dangerous zone. UHP needs a more visible presence there and they need to start writing tickets.
And by the way, if I may I add my personal rant, though it’s not important, I do find it irritating. All news reports said yesterday’s accident occurred in “North Salt Lake”. But, in fact, it occurred in “north” (little n) Salt Lake. North Salt Lake (where I live) is an actual town just over the county line in Davis County, though some of our news organizations fail to make that distinction. I’ve ranted about poor misunderstood NSL elsewhere.
Drivers, slow down! The rest of us are doing our best to drive safely, but we are sometimes at your reckless mercy.