A bridge replacement project is underway on U.S. 350, about nine miles east of Trinidad.
Traffic has been switched to a one-lane detour across the bridge, with a signal alternating northbound and southbound traffic, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sensors are monitoring traffic and activating the signal to minimize wait times for stopped vehicles. The maximum wait time is two minutes. Large trucks, wider than 14 feet, are not permitted through the work zone.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is replacing the 76-year-old structure (picture attached), which crosses a dry gulch, since it is poor condition and functionally obsolete. In addition to removing the bridge and constructing a new concrete box culvert, the project includes new asphalt pavement and guardrails. The acceleration lane from the Trinidad Correctional Facility also will be extended, just north of the bridge site.
PLEASE NOTE: On Monday, January 21, a major bridge inspection will require full traffic stops up to one hour. Alternate routes are advised, including State Highway 10 between La Junta and Walsenburg, and Interstate 25 between Walsenburg and Trinidad.
“Along with replacing the bridge and widening the shoulders, extending the accel lane should enhance safety since it’ll give vehicles some room to get up to speed coming out of the prison complex,” said CDOT Project Engineer Steve Spera. “Bottom line is that replacing or reconstructing our bridges provides a safer environment for drivers.”
The project is scheduled for completion in July 2013.
In addition to replacing the structure on U.S. 350, the project also includes replacing a bridge on State Highway 239, about one mile north of Trinidad. It is now in progress and scheduled for completion in April 2013.
The Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE), a government-owned business entity within CDOT, is fully funding the $1.9 million project. The Colorado General assembly created the CBE to complete designated bridge projects that involve the financing, repair, reconstruction and replacement of bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated “poor” by CDOT. More information is available at: http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/BridgeEnterprise.
Colorado currently has 123 bridges on the state highway system which are in disrepair. Additional transportation funding will allow CDOT to maintain and improve safety for all users.
The contractor, Tezak Heavy Equipment Co. Inc., of Caňon City, Colo., has set up a project hotline. Please call 719-431-9595 with any questions or concerns.
Updated information regarding traffic impacts on this or other CDOT projects is available at www.coloradodot.info/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html or by calling 511. To receive project updates via e-mail, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including Southeast Colorado.