Highway 9 Bridge Project Begins Ahead of Schedule

May 5, 2011 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - Bridge Enterprise funding new structure near Royal Gorge.

SH 9 Royal Gorge - Hole in DeckFREMONT COUNTY – Work is underway to replace the Currant Creek Bridge on State Highway 9, about 11 miles north of U.S. 50, after a hole, approximately 3 feet in diameter, opened up on the deck Wednesday (see pictures below).

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) was scheduled to begin initial preparations to replace the bridge on Monday, May 9, but due to the deck problem, started the project today.  The lane where the hole is located is closed and a temporary signal currently is alternating one lane of traffic over the bridge. Sensors are monitoring traffic and activating the signal to keep the wait time for stopped vehicles to a maximum of five minutes.

For the next couple of weeks, work will proceed to build a one-lane paved detour, aSH 9 Royal Gorge Bridgedjacent to the bridge site.  Temporary erosion control measures also will be installed. 

Beginning on Wednesday, May 18, traffic will be switched to the detour, with the traffic signal alternating northbound and southbound traffic, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Vehicles wider than 12 feet are not permitted to travel through this area for the duration of the project due to the minimum lane width on the bridge and detour.

The project is scheduled for completion in September 2011.

In addition to removing the old structure and new bridge construction, the project includes new asphalt pavement at the bridge approaches, seeding, and mulching.

“The current bridge isn’t that old – it was built in 1960 – but it’s rated in poor condition, and after what occurred yesterday, it obviously needs to be replaced,” says CDOT Resident Engineer Robert Burch.  “Our new structure is designed to last for 75 years so it’s a long-term investment and improvement to our highway system.  It’ll also have wider shoulders, enhancing safety along that segment of Highway 9.”

Tezak Heavy Equipment Co. Inc., of Caňon City, Colo. is the prime contractor.

The $1.4 million project is funded through the Statewide Bridge Enterprise, a government-owned business entity within CDOT.  Created as part of the FASTER (Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) legislation, its goal is to finance, repair, reconstruct or replace any bridge designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated “poor” by CDOT.  Additional information is available at: www.coloradodot.info/projects/faster.

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 Southwest Colorado.