Bridge Restoration on US 50 Frontage Road in Gunnison Funded Through the Colorado Bridge Enterprise

September 6, 2011 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Twin bridges closed until summer 2012 – motorists, cyclists will detour onto US 50.

GUNNISON COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation began a project today to restore the “twin bridges” on the US 50 frontage road on the west side of Gunnison (near mile marker 155). The bridges—which were built in 1926—are rated in “poor” condition and are listed on CDOT’s statewide *FASTER Bridge Enterprise Projects list.

There are two steel truss, single-span bridges along the east-west US 50 frontage road (which runs parallel to US 50 on the north side) The east bridge structure is built over the main channel of the Gunnison River and the west structure is built over the river’s “overflow” channel. The east structure, therefore, will receive a full reinforcement of its two abutments (where bridge meets land) to strengthen them for a 500-year flood event. The concrete decks on both structures will be replaced with about nine inches of new concrete, as well as a water-proofing membrane followed by two inches of asphalt.

“We will also improve the steel portions and remove and replace the old paint,” CDOT Resident Engineer Ron Alexander said. “But it’s important to note, we will not be changing the color or overall appearance of these historic structures.”

TRAVEL IMPACTS: During the work, the bridges will be closed 24/7 through next August 2012. (Much of the project schedule will be dependent upon good weather, and Gunnison is known for its hearty winters.) Fortunately, there is access to adjoining properties from either side of the bridges—motorists and cyclists will need to utilize US 50 as a short, quarter-mile detour. CDOT is urging motorists to take care near cyclists, who will now be sharing the highway along this section more frequently.

This project was contracted to SEMA Construction of Centennial, CO, for $2 million, all of which is being funded through the Colorado Bridge Enterprise.

For information on other CDOT projects statewide, the public may log on to or call 511. Better yet, log onto CDOT’s web site at and sign up to receive FREE e-mail or wireless text messages about road conditions in your chosen area.

*The Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE) was formed in 2009 as part of the FASTER (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) legislation. It operates as a government-owned business within the Colorado Department of Transportation. The Colorado Transportation Commission serves as the Colorado Bridge Enterprise Board. The purpose of the CBE is to finance, repair, reconstruct and replace bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated “poor." In order to accomplish this goal, a bridge safety surcharge ranging from $13 to $32 has been imposed on vehicle registration based upon vehicle weight. Revenues from the bridge safety surcharge fee are phased in over a three-year period, and are estimated to generate approximately $100 million in annual funding. For more information, log onto: